Bethany Williams is a UK-based menswear designer committed to effecting social change by collaborating with new charities each season while addressing problems from all angles of the industry, from agriculture to communication. With only three collections under her belt, the newcomer has quickly gained recognition from the likes of the Anna Wintour and Nicolas Ghesquière for her work with homeless shelters, foodbanks and recycled garments co-created by prison inmates.
Williams began her career working part-time at a fashion magazine but, taking after her pattern-cutter mother, she pursued fashion design starting with a fine art foundation in Brighton, followed by menswear fashion design at the London College of Fashion . Alongside her studies, the young designer volunteered at homeless shelters and food kitchens in Brighton, a move that ignited the spark to effect social change with her work.
She founded her label in 2017 and chose to source book waste, second-hand denim and hand-woven textiles to create 100 percent recycled garments for her projects. Williams has collaborated with the Vauxhall Food Bank, The Mobile Library Charity and the Adelaide House women’s shelter, providing employment for female inmates and casting models from the TIH homeless modelling agency. In her work, Williams casts light on issues such as youth homelessness and hidden hunger in society. Her collections are stocked by Farfetch, Galeries Lafayette Paris, Dune in Tokyo and Odd92 in New York. Williams donates a sizeable portion of profits to the charities involved.
For her motivation to create 2019’s standard of an ethical fashion business, the young designer was shortlisted for the LVMH designer prize, received the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design and was featured in the Next Green talents showcase by Yoox and Vogue Italia. Williams also continues to work as a fashion consultant in partnership with companies including Kering, Adidas and the Design Museum.