where did you get that?

Where a Menswear Designer Finds Her Style Inspiration

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Amanda Akokhia, At.Kollective/Amber Pinkerton, Bianca Saunders

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Bianca Saunders, a menswear designer known for her edgy designs (in her last show, she fastened looks with duct tape), says that “less is more” when it comes to her style, but with a twist: “I think having one piece that’s kind of experimental or detailed elevates a style.” She was previously a part of At.Kollektive, a group of designers that come together to share resources and each contribute pieces in their own style. This year’s contributors are Kiko Kostadinov, Peter Do, and Nina Christen.

Saunders draws inspiration from her mom’s minimal style in the ’90s and early aughts and swaps clothing with her five siblings. “They have different styles from mine — they’re into trendier and designer pieces, and I wear a lot of vintage. it’s interesting to see how we interpret it in different ways,” she says.

Below, see where Saunders got the pieces that made it into her curated wardrobe.

What’s the last thing you bought?

Mac Chestnut lip liner. I’m always losing lip pencils. I’ve been experimenting with makeup-no-makeup looks and testing out a lot of products.

Where did you get the inanimate object that brings you the most joy?

I bought my shell ashtray from Basel in Switzerland. I never bring back anything for myself when I travel, so I thought, Let me bring back a piece for my home because they make such good stories. There’s this really good market in Basel, and the last time I was there I picked up a sheepskin coat, so I decided to check out the home section. I thought it would look good in the bathroom, which at the moment has stone and glass ornaments.

I buy a lot of things on eBay and Gumtree. I’m very thrifty.

Where did you get what’s on your nightstand?

My Tizio by Richard Sapper for Artemide Lamp is something my friend got me for my 30th birthday. He had it restored, which is actually quite hard because it’s vintage. It’s really nice, and once I move studios I’m going to get a big table for it.

Where did you get the item you wear the most?

At. Kollective X Bianca Saunders Barkley Jacket [a similar jacket is linked below]. That jacket in particular was a mixture of using ideas around drape but keeping it very simple. It has the same sort of folds and flexibility that the shoes have. It is a very easy jacket because I can wear it with my more simple pieces, and it’s nice to have my own pieces as the main feature. I wear it with darker colors. I’m trying to stay away from black at the moment, but I can’t help myself.

Where did you get your signature scent?

My signature fragrance is Aventus by Creed. I’m going through so many fragrances all the time, but this is part of my everyday routine. It’s really quite masculine, but also it’s very light but not too overpowering. It’s nice to be noticed but also to have a scent that doesn’t smell too strong. When you spray a fragrance on and you can’t smell it, it’s usually the one for you. I also like Frederic Malle’s the Moon and Byredo’s Bal D’Afrique, which I’ll wear at night sometimes.

What do you keep in your bag?

Photo: Amber Pinkerton/

I have my La Mer pouch, and I usually have Weleda hand cream. I was in the States recently and bought some Altoids, so I always have mints, a Fenty lipgloss. I always have a pen, but my bags are tiny so I never bring a notebook. Then I’ll have my AirPods, my keys, lip liner, and a Charlotte Tilbury or Laura Mercier pressed powder.

Where do you get your favorite gifts to give?

Columbia Road Market. I get a lot of flowers for people; I love making a trip there on Sundays. I like peonies. Also, my family loves pancakes, so when I visit the States they like when I bring back pancake mix and syrup. They don’t have that kind of syrup out here; it must be banned or something. I also get Crest toothpaste — the whitening one is really good. Really random stuff, loads of sweets.

Where a Menswear Designer Finds Her Style Inspiration