Matthew Williams, the founder of cult street-culture brand 1017 Alyx 9SM, and key figure in the luxurious streetwear scene, has been named as Givenchy’s new creative director.
The 34-year-old British designer’s appointment marks a noticeable shift from the brand’s creative direction. By comparison, Williams is motivated by subversive design and futuristic design. And, like Louis Vuitton artistic manager Virgil Abloh, that has collaborated with Williams, the new Givenchy head combines low and high style.
In 2008, Williams helped costume designer Erin Hirsh within an LED coat worn by Kanye West throughout his 2008 Grammy performance. Williams has also worked together with Dior and Nike.
Though Williams does not have formal design training, he had been a finalist for the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers, and will begin in his new role on June 16, presenting his debut series in Paris in October.
Williams will be in charge of all creative aspects of Givenchy, such as menswear and womenswear, and he unites during a particularly turbulent time for the fashion business, as sales have plummeted as a result of coronavirus pandemic and countless jobs are in danger. Global anti-racism protests have put pressure on the industry, also, for its longstanding lack of cultural sensitivity and treatment of people of colour.
Sidney Toledano, Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group said in an official announcement:”I am very happy to visit Matthew M. Williams join. Since he took part in the LVMH Prize, we’ve had the joy of watching him develop into the great talent he is today. I believe his singular vision of modernity will be a excellent prospect for Givenchy to compose its brand new chapter with success and strength .”
In his statement Williams stated,”I am extremely honored to join with the House of Givenchy. The Maison’s unique position and surroundings that are timeless make it an undeniable icon and I am excited about working with its ateliers and teams, to transfer it into a brand new age according to modernity and inclusivity.”
Adding:”In these unprecedented times for your entire world, I want to send a message of trust, together with my own community and colleagues, and mean to donate toward positive change.”
Note: This story was updated to clarify that the coat worn by Kanye West in the 2008 Grammys was designed by Erin Hirsh, together with Matthew Williams’ assistance.