The roots of Gravalot’s spring collection actually reach back to designs from pieces that were intended for the winter collection, which was put on hold because of both pandemic and Brexit production delays. Designer Onye Anuna tweaked them to turn out bomber jackets and blazers in bold red and green checks that integrate well with the lighter, more tropical leaf prints on trousers and loose shirts.
Working with deadstock also means that he creates tightly edited collections targeted to specific markets through textile choice and design tweaks — for example, more or less padding or slightly looser shapes, depending on the client base. “If you go to Japan and see our pieces, you’re not actually going to see the same pieces in North America, you’re not going to see the same pieces in Europe. I mean, it’s a bit more work, but at the same time, you reduce your overhead, you reduce your cost and you keep the essence of that local culture coming through.” It’s a pragmatic approach that also requires creativity.
As an afro-contemporary brand, Anuna straddles his business between his home country of the U.K. and his birth country of Nigeria, producing in the former and sourcing from the latter. It makes for an interesting contrast, with key pieces being bolero jackets, lace button downs and vibrant two-tone knit trousers. If that all sounds like a little much, Anuna’s traditional tailoring and focus on structure strike the right balance.