Designer Matthew Williams is known for co-founding Alyx with his wife (1017 Alyx 9SM), naming it after his daughter, and also creating collections for the Moncler Genius project. Williams was recently named Creative Director of Givenchy, replacing Claire Waite Keller.
The appointment arouses genuine interest in the fashionable society. Alyx has been around since 2015 and is positioned as a luxury sportswear brand. The protege of Virgil Abloh, Matthew creates collections that combine street fashion aesthetics with urban glamor and practicality. The intricate designs of down jackets and activewear that the designer creates for Moncler look demi-couture and at the same time utilitarian. This is why it is so interesting what happens when Williams takes on Givenchy. Whether he continues to work with archives like Claire Waite Keller, or dissects the brand codes, presenting a new, redrawn aesthetic, it will surely be interesting to watch. Would Audrey Hepburn wear one of those Alyx suits that look so much like the casual version of the suits? Will there be traditionally elegant evening dresses in the new collections of the house? We will find out about this soon.
Here's what we know about Williams himself. Matthew was born in Chicago, where he drove a skateboard, surf, on a football field as a teenager, and was a real fidget. At 17, the future LVMH award finalist went to soccer competitions in Europe and ended up on an internship at the brand his coach had founded. Soon, Matthew decided to apply to the Parsons School of Design in New York, but he failed to enter there, after which the guy decided to go his own way and find his own, unique ways to implement his ideas, not relying on generally accepted norms of specialized education.
Williams' mentor and friend was cult photographer Nick Knight. Clients for whom, then a stylist and art director, he created stage costumes, were Lady Gaga and Kanye West. Finally, since 2012, Matthew has been a member of an art DJ group along with Virgil Abloh and other artists. Friends threw parties, and over time they launched a local brand with merch collections that many fashionistas liked.
In 2015, Williams separated from the joint brand and created his own brand, and in 2016 he was among the finalists of the LVMH competition, losing the championship to the designer Grace Wells Bonner. Alyx items immediately sold out concept stores Colette, The Broken Arm, Opening Ceremony and Dover Street Market.
Now additional symbols have appeared in the brand name: for example, 1017 indicates the designer's date of birth – October 17, and 9SM – to the address of the brand's first New York studio, 9 St. Marks Place. At first, the designer worked exclusively on men's clothing, but since 2017 he has been releasing men's and women's collections, which are organically complementary to each other. Matthew works on masculine and feminine lines in parallel, juggling key elements, silhouettes, materials and colors. In addition to his own brand, the designer managed to work with the house of Dior, in collaboration with the director of the men's line, Kim Jones, Nike, Mackintosh and the cult street-wear brand Stussy. In all cases, Matthew's approach to work includes great attention to detail, functionality and convenience of each item, as well as manufacturability and sustainability of production.
Now that we have figured out the name of the brand and the main facts of Williams' creative biography, we can finally mention that the designer and his family have recently moved to Italy, closer to the factories and factories where the brand's clothes are made. For example, Italy produces durable nylon from recycled fishing nets, which Williams has consistently used in production.
Matthew's team, just like in old Italian traditions, consists of relatives: talented brothers, wife and even father-in-law. The designer's plans, as he himself admitted in numerous interviews, included cooperation with a large fashion house – and this moment has come.
Read also: Claire Waite Keller steps down as creative director at Givenchy