Named the Fashion Award's 2018 British Emerging Menswear Designer, the Virgil Abloh protégé and a finalist for both the LVMH Prize and ANDAM Award, Samuel Ross first launched his streetwear menswear label A-Cold-Wall in late 2015. At age 25, the former product designer grew his fashion business to a revenue of $1.7 million between between 2016 and 2017, partnering with stockists that include Ssense and Barneys New York .
Ross studied graphic design and illustration at De Montfort University in Leicester and went into commercial design after graduation, balancing his professional work with his own creative output, which spanned experimental film, street art and a streetwear label named 2wnt4 — which he set up with long-time friend Ace Harper. During this time, in April 2013, he caught the eye of Louis Vuitton 's creative director Virgil Abloh, who hired Ross to work for him as a creative assistant at Off-White as well as at Kanye West ’s Yeezy.
He founded A-Cold-Wall in 2015 as a self-funded label inspired by the British class system that reflects on Ross’s personal story: growing up in Brixton in a working-class neighbourhood and studying design. Since launching the label Ross has gained a loyal following and steady growth, landing him global stockists including Barneys New York, GR8 in Tokyo and Selfridges in London. Ross is known to keep a close relationship with to his fanbase to evolving his label on his own terms, and in 2018 he unveiled an A-Cold-Wall womenswear line. In 2017, A-Cold-Wall was one of the NEWGEN recipients. The label was a finalist for the ANDAM grand prize award in 2018 and was one of the finalists for the LVMH Prize. It has secured 100 stockists in the US, Canada, Asia and Europe.
A-Cold-Wall made its fashion week debut with its 2018 Spring/Summer show in London, and has quickly become a sought-after menswear shows. This sparked other streetwear brands’ interest resulting in multiple collaborations between A-Cold-Wall and sportwear brands such as Nike to create the Nike Zoom Vomero +5 sneaker and Oakley to create two capsule collections in 2018 and 2019 showcased at the Californian retailer H. Lorenzo.
The Dutch brand Futura partnered with Ross’ Concrete Objects, an industrialist-style decor project created by the A-Cold-Wall founder in collaboration with the fashion designer Jobe Burns, to produce exclusive collectibles. In March 2019, the quickly sold out pieces were showcased at the “Abstract Compass” exhibition at the Danysz Gallery in Hong Kong. Further expanding partnerships, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion platform has announced its inclusion of Ross in its “How To” campaign featuring talks and events by industry influencers.
In Autumn 2018, Ross released the Polythene Optics clothing brand, branching out an accessible graphic-heavy aesthetic. In 2019, Polythene Optics collaborated with Clot's Clottee line.