On the 16th June, the Paris headquartered house of Givenchy announced a new creative director – Matthew M. Williams, founder of cult luxury streetwear brand Alyx.
The appointment of Matthew M. Williams is a pointedly new direction for the brand, after the tenure of British designer Clare Waight Keller who helmed feminine French house of Chloe before Givenchy, and famously dressed Meghan Markle in her wedding to Prince Harry.
Although his name might not be familiar to some European high fashion fans, Williams has long established a stellar reputation in American street-inspired fashion. The Chicago-born designer, who immersed himself in California skate culture and worked as a creative director with celebrities like Lady Gaga, has also collaborated with Kanye West, before he launched streetwear brand Been Trill with streetwear stars Heron Preston and Virgil Abloh. And in 2015, he launched the highly successful Alyx label famed for it’s hard-edged, street inspired aesthetic and modern craftsmanship that brought leather and monochrome to the fore. The brand was shortlisted for the LVMH Young Designers Prize, and the designer has collaborated with the likes of Nike and Dior Homme.
For Givenchy, we’ll be expecting to see an aesthetically harder turn in its design, certainly a departure from the easy breezy femininity of Waight Keller’s style – perhaps closer to Riccardo Tisci’s edgier previous iterations. Williamson also vowed to move the brand “into a new era, based on modernity and inclusivity.”
“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.” — Matthew M. Williams, Creative Director of Givenchy
He is also likely to bring a stronger menswear proposition and a younger, street-inspired aesthetic and celebrity fans to the house.
“Since he took part in the LVMH Prize, we have had the pleasure of watching him develop into the great talent he is today,” says Chairman and CEO of LVMH Fashion Group, Sydney Toledano of Williamson in a release, ” I believe his singular vision of modernity will be a great opportunity for Givenchy to write its new chapter with strength and success.”