In breaking fashion news, Matthew Williams has been appointed the new Creative Director of the house of Givenchy.
The news comes two months after Claire Waight Keller’s departure, and marks the third designer for the house in just three years.
Effective June 16th, 2020, Williams will take on all creative responsibilities for both the Women’s and Men’s collections, presenting his first collection for Givenchy in Paris in October.
“I am extremely honoured to join the House of Givenchy. The Maison’s unique position and timeless aura make it an undeniable icon and I am looking forward to working together with its ateliers and teams, to move it into a new era, based on modernity and inclusivity,” Williams said in a statement.
“I am grateful to the LVMH group for trusting me with the opportunity to fulfil my lifelong dream. In these unprecedented times for the world, I want to send a message of hope, together with my community and colleagues, and intend to contribute towards positive change.”
A far cry from Hubert de Givenchy’s couturier roots – and more recently Waight Keller’s perpetuation of Hubert’s Hepburn beau idéal – Williams’ fashion cachet comes from the streets, the founder of haute streetwear line, 1017 Alyx 9SM. He’s also cut his teeth in the music world, a former creative director for Lady Gaga and art director for Kayne West.
With no formal training, the self-taught designer grew up in Pismo Beach, California, developing an early interest in fashion. Honing his craft in fashion production, he cultivated strong relationships with top talents across art, music, photography, and fashion.
For Fall-Winter 2015, the designer debuted Alyx, a womenswear label rooted in contemporary culture, affirmative change and longevity of design, which was later shortlisted for the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers (and which, importantly, caught the eye of Sidney Toledano, chief executive of the LVMH Fashion Group).
Since then, the brand has reformed into 1017 Alyx 9SM, and gained a cult following along the way (Bella Hadid walked in his show in January). Lauded for its highly focused collection and personal point of view, it spans womenswear, menswear and accessories, as well as collaborations with renowned international sports and luxury lifestyle brands. The designer’s longstanding fascination with translating cultural undercurrents into high fashion informs the brand’s aesthetic, and his signature “rollercoaster” buckle quickly became iconic among tastemakers alike.
While Cali may be worlds away from Paris, Williams will no doubt bring his contemporary approach and intuitive understanding of tailoring, technology and integrity to the house, an ideal steward to carry forth the Givenchy legacy with modernity and power.
With change the buzz word in fashion right now, Williams appointment couldn’t have been more timely. Welcome to the new era of Givenchy.