For Grace Wales Bonner, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

Wales Bonner once again showed itself as a highlight of the Paris Fashion Week schedule, drawing on a broad range of influences for an enigmatic fusion of design and distance running. 

In the courtyard of the world’s oldest continuously operating minting institution, La Monnaie de Paris, Wales Bonner introduced its latest collection, ‘Marathon’, as fashion editors, athletes and influencers waited eagerly. 

The 34-piece collection combined intricate tailoring with sportswear-inspired looks. As part of the brand’s unique exploration of cultural hybridity, clothing served as a meeting point for European and African style tropes. 

Fresh off the back of a stand-out sixth adidas collaboration, Bonner kept her own pace, punctuating mainline looks with collaborative pieces with the sportswear giant. Fans were given an updated dose of subculturally informed ‘70s nostalgia, seen in high-neck Three Stripes track tops with matching bottoms. Colourways included red paired with blue and green with yellow, serving as a further nod to Grace Wales Bonner’s Jamaican-British heritage. 

SS24 was an ode to the legendary athletes of Kenya and Ethiopia, which the designer summed up as a “reflection of a long-distance runner: the silent messenger, the unwavering spirit striding, soaring”. 

With all eyes on the floor, Bonner previewed two new collaborative shoe offerings, with shearling-lined UGG loafers being a new addition to the brand’s co-branded footwear. In terms of adidas sneakers, the London label further reflected Africa’s long-distance running legacy, featuring reissues of yellow adidas Neftenga sneakers worn by legendary Marathon runner Haile Gebrselassie who won two Olympic gold medals and four World Championship titles.

As part of Wales Bonner’s authentic acknowledgement of these achievements, the brand recruited Ethiopian athletes Yomif Kejelcha and Tamirat Tola to walk in the show, who wore yellow Neftenga sneakers as they moved at an all-together different pace. 

While Bonner may be seen as Fashion’s unofficial queen of collaboration thanks to several successful partnerships with adidas, she kept fans on their toes, veering away from the popular Samba. On top of this, a new co-branded venture was revealed with Californian shoemaker UGG, injecting an exciting newness and pushing the Wales Bonner brand to new heights.