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Givenchy names new creative director

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

15 Jun 2020

LVMH-owned luxury French fashion house Givenchy has announced that Matthew M. Williams, the founder of luxury streetwear-inspired label 1017 ALYX 9SM, is the brand’s new creative director.

This appointment marks Williams first major creative director role and will see the American designer succeeding Clare Waight Keller, who announced her departure from the luxury fashion house in April.

His first official day as creative director will be June 16 explained Givenchy, where Williams will oversee “all creative responsibilities” for the fashion house’s womenswear and menswear collections, while also maintaining his own-brand, 1017 ALYX 9SM. He will present his debut collection for Givenchy in Paris in October 2020.

In a statement, Williams said: “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.

“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.”

Matthew M. Williams named creative director at Givenchy

On the official announcement, Givenchy opted to share the news as a voice note from the designer himself on their official Instagram page, who confirmed the news as a “life-long dream” while adding that it is “super surreal” that it has finally happened but also “bittersweet” because of the current challenges presenting the fashion industry.

Sidney Toledano, chairman and chief executive of LVMH Fashion Group, added in a statement: “I am very happy to see Matthew M. Williams join the LVMH Group. Since he took part in the LVMH Prize, we have had the pleasure of watching him develop into the great talent he is today.

“I believe his singular vision of modernity will be a great opportunity for Givenchy to write its new chapter with strength and success.”

It has come as no surprise to many that Williams was named creative director, back in April many media outlets were calling him the front-runner for the role, as he is a designer that excites Millennial and Gen-Z consumers with his streetwear label, which has a cult following thanks to celebrity fans including Kanye West and Lady Gaga.

Williams, a self-taught designer born in Chicago, raised in California, launched his 1017 ALYX 9SM brand as a womenswear label in 2015, before adding menswear in 2017. The streetwear-inspired brand is built on the concept of high-quality materials mixed with subversive culture and modern craftsmanship and includes ready-to-wear, accessories, and shoe collections.

In 2016, Williams caught the attention of international editors and buyers after he was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize, and he has gone on to do numerous collaborations with the likes of Nike, Dior, Moncler, and Mackintosh.

Renaud de Lesquen, chief executive and president of Givenchy, added: “I want to warmly welcome Matthew M. Williams to the beautiful Maison Givenchy. I am convinced that, with his unapologetic approach to design and creativity and in great collaboration with the Maison’s exceptional ateliers and teams, Matthew will help Givenchy reach its full potential.”

Images: Alyx SS20, Catwalk pictures