GIVENCHY recently announced the departure of its creative director, Matthew M. Williams. After a three-year tenure marked by innovation and a fresh creative vision, Williams will be concluding his journey with the prestigious brand. His final contributions, the Pre-Fall 2024 collections for both men and women, are highly anticipated and set to be revealed in select media shortly.
Matthew Williams’ exit, aligning with the end of his initial contract, comes just weeks after he established a new business partnership with Hong Kong entrepreneur Adrian Cheng. This new venture aims to expand his own brand, 1017 Alyx 9SM, highlighting plans for standalone boutiques and enhanced focus on jewelry, shoes, and accessories.
Reflecting on his journey with GIVENCHY, Williams expressed his gratitude and pride. “Leading the creative direction of GIVENCHY was, as I said upon my arrival in 2020, the dream of a lifetime,” he shared. His approach was always about respecting the past while pushing boundaries. “Over these three years, I have strived to perpetuate Mr. Hubert de GIVENCHY’s legacy while bringing my own creative vision,” he added, highlighting his commitment to honoring the brand’s storied history.
You may also like: GIVENCHY Spring/Summer 2024 Collection Transcends Trends
Williams’ tenure at GIVENCHY was notable for its timing and challenges. His appointment coincided with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to unique circumstances for his debut collections, including Zoom-based contract negotiations and socially-distanced showroom presentations. Despite these hurdles, Williams succeeded in staging his first runway show for the fall 2021 season, accompanied by soundtracks from his extensive network in the music industry.
While he did not present any high-fashion collections during Paris Couture Week, Williams made a mark with his couture dresses for select VIPs, contributing to significant events such as a Tiffany & Co. high jewelry show in New York. His approach at GIVENCHY was a blend of reverence for the brand’s heritage and a keen focus on garment archetypes, emphasizing fabric quality and innovative finishing techniques. This approach was particularly evident in his hardware designs and advanced manufacturing processes for footwear. “His collections, resolutely creative and contemporary, have sparked a new dynamic and found their audience,” remarked Renaud de Lesquen, president and CEO of GIVENCHY, praising Williams’ contributions.
Under Williams, GIVENCHY saw a rejuvenation of its product line. The introduction of items like the Voyou handbags and Shark Lock boots reflected his focus on blending innovative design with GIVENCHY’s luxury craftsmanship. This direction helped to propel the brand’s presence on the international stage, particularly in key markets such as the United States and Japan.
Before joining GIVENCHY, the Chicago-born designer had established a significant presence in the fashion industry, working with notable figures like Kanye West and Lady Gaga. His brand, 1017 Alyx 9SM, launched in 2015, is celebrated for its industrial and utilitarian designs, crafted with high-quality materials and modern craftsmanship.