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The Essentials According To Bianca Saunders

From universal wardrobe staples to SPF and Margiela candles: everything you should own according to menswear designer, Bianca Saunders

By Isobel Van Dyke

10 November 2021

ver a decade ago now, fashion designer Tom Ford was interviewed by Self Service Magazine on what he thinks are essential items everyone should own. This list has been edited and republished by many publications since, with the headline adapted to ‘15 Things Every Man Should Have’.

The original list includes things such as ‘a sense of humour’, ‘a day watch with a metal band’ (not to be confused with an evening watch, which according to Mr Ford, includes a leather strap), a magnifying mirror and a classic tuxedo too.

Today at The Stack we launch our own version of Tom Ford’s infamous list. And kicking off this new regular series, The Essentials, is award-winning menswear designer, Bianca Saunders. I caught up with Bianca, Zoom-ing from a corner of her Hackney Central-based studio.

Behind her blurred figures were moving about the studio, most likely working on the upcoming collection which she will be showing early next year. Not only did Bianca win the prestigious ANDAM award in Paris this year - becoming the first Black British designer to do so - but she is also nominated for the Rising Star Award at this year’s British Fashion Awards (happening November 29th).

Below, she lists her essential items: things that she relies on day to day, and things she thinks you should own - from SPF to Margiela candles, podcasts and peace plants.

What first comes to mind…

A peace plant - and, importantly, a really nice vase for it.

Maison Margiela’s, By the Fireplace candle.

Hand sanitiser.

A Fenty lip gloss - there’s always one in my bag.

A KIKO, 312 lip pencil.

(If you get your lashes done) An eyelash brush.

Wardrobe essentials everyone should own…

A pair of trainers - my favourites are Air Jordan 1s (in Mocha).

Straight-leg jeans - they go with any outfit.

A leather jacket - no matter what the season, even if not the most practical in summer

A fitted t-shirt - I’m really into the Skims ones at the moment, the fit is genuinely really good.

Soundtracks to get you through the day…

If I have loads to do I’ll listen to Drake and Kanye. My sister says she can tell when I’m working hard because that’s what I’m listening to.

My evening vibe is usually hip-hop samples, 70s tracks.

My go-to album right now is Summer Walker’s Still Over It.

I have a podcast routine…

I listen to The Read on Tuesdays, Wednesdays is for The Receipts.

The Root of Evil is on my list to listen to.

I love The Cutting Room Floor - it’s great fashion drama.

Essential to my working day…

I’m constantly on my laptop.

A mug is vital - I’m a big tea drinker.

Essential to my (20 minute) morning routine is…

I wear La Roche-Posay SPF everyday. It’s essential to staying unwrinkled, it’s very light.

Glossier milk jelly cleanser.

The Short Stack

Kicking off our new series, The Essentials, with menswear designer Bianca Saunders

By Isobel Van Dyke

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