Fashion

Matthew Williams Is Named Creative Director at Givenchy

A statement issued by Williams makes a vague reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Matthew Williams Is Named Creative Director at Givenchy

A statement issued by Williams makes a vague reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Following the departure of Clare Waight Keller from Givenchy, the French fashion house has named 34-year-old designer Matthew M. Williams, founder of 1017 ALYX 9SM, its new creative director. He will continue operating ALYX in conjunction with his new title.

The Chicago-born designer will likely incorporate his streetwear-inspired aesthetic into his work at Givenchy, a direction that may stand in sharp contrast to Waight Keller’s return to classic house codes in recent seasons. Despite the obvious influence of streetwear on Williams, who has closely collaborated with Virgil Abloh and Kanye West, the designer previously shied away from identifying with the term.

As weeks of Black Lives Matter protests across the U.S. push fashion brands to work towards increased diversity and amplification of Black talent, LVMH‘s decision to appoint Williams at Givenchy may appear tone deaf. According to Business of Fashion, only two of the luxury conglomerate’s 15 creative directors are people of color: Abloh of Louis Vuitton and Rihanna of Fenty.

Williams touched on the current cultural climate in a voice note statement. “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,” he said.

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