The rumour mill has been churning for over a month as to who the next creative director of Givenchy would be. And now, we have our answer. As of this week, Matthew M. Williams, the founder of cult label Alyx, has assumed creative responsibility for both the women’s and men’s collections for the Parisian house.
The American designer revealed this achievement was a ‘life-long dream’ he had been working towards for the last 15 years. Williams announced his new position via Instagram in the form of a personal voice note. CEO of LVMH, Sidney Toledano, released a more formal press statement. Toledano, who heads the parent company of Givenchy, wrote: ‘[Williams’] singular vision of modernity will be a great opportunity for Givenchy to write its new chapter with strength and success’.
The choice is a clear departure from the style of Clare Waight Keller, Givenchy’s former Creative Director. Waight Keller, who’s most known for designing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, has been credited with a revival of the brand’s historical cinematic glamour and romanticism. Williams, on the other hand, has most often been framed as a ‘streetwear’ designer – something Williams himself as shunned on account of it being a ‘very loaded’ term. Either way, it’s likely we shall see a return to the edgy, sports-luxe style of Riccardo Tisci’s reign.
Williams has often referred to his Californian roots as a major source of inspiration, specifically his immersion in the skate culture, surfer lifestyle and rap scene – hence the ‘streetwear’ label. His aesthetic, which ingeniously combines luxury with stark functionalism, has won favour with endless celebrities including Kanye West, and earned prestigious acclaim in the fashion world.
The change in leadership has come at a turbulent time, not just for Givenchy but for all fashion houses. Williams noted that the moment was undeniably bittersweet, but that he hoped to use his platform to bring a sense of positivity to the industry. The new era is a promising one.
By Rebecca Taylor