Designer Matthew Williams steps down as artistic director of Givenchy

Matthew Williams will leave Givenchy on January 1, 2024. Jana Call me J / Jana Call me J/ABACA

The 38-year-old American, who took over the house in 2020, will leave his post at 1 p.m.well January 2024 is the end of his contract. In 3 years he had barely managed to convince observers.

After months of rumors, the announcement is now official: Matthew Williams, 38, is leaving the Givenchy house, where he has been artistic director since June 2020.well January 2024. He must now focus on his own brand, 1017 ALYX 9SM, which he founded in 2015 and sold a majority stake to Hong Kong businessman Adrian Cheng. “Directing the creation of Givenchy has been the dream of my life, as I said when I arrived in 2020. he said in a house press release. During these three years, I have made a point of continuing the legacy of Mr. Hubert de Givenchy while bringing my own creative vision, and I would like to sincerely thank the studio, Renaud de Lesquen and LVMH for this wonderful opportunity. »

Matthew Williams, who arrived at Givenchy during the pandemic to breathe new life into the house founded in 1952, has never really managed to convince observers. Not necessarily from the inner circle (he long designed stage costumes for Lady Gaga), he made himself known thanks to his universe full of musical and industrial references, which led him to collaborate, in particular, with Kim Jones before his appointment. At Dior. She tried to claim a “Givenchy woman” by being more confident in the man she thought he designed according to her personal tastes. In his early days, his urban-influenced vision, far from the elegance of its founder Hubert de Givenchy, brought him much criticism. But in recent seasons, his work seemed to have (finally) found its audience, thanks to his collaboration with Carine Roitfeld (who designed the shows) and the launch of successful accessories, including the Voyou bag. But this was clearly not enough to persuade the management of the house to prolong the adventure…” I want to thank Matthew for the energy he brings to Givenchy. CEO Renaud de Lesquen explained this. Their absolutely creative and contemporary collections managed to trigger a new dynamic and find their target audience. I join everyone who has had the pleasure of working with Matthew in wishing him well in his future adventures. »

Since the founder’s retirement in 1995, the house has had a succession of designers: John Galliano, Alexander McQueen, Julien Macdonald, Ozwald Boateng… In 2005, Italian Riccardo Tisci reoriented Givenchy towards haute couture with its roots in the street. Its success had a profound impact on the institution, and its influence is often expressed, or at least visible, in the work of Matthew Williams. Before the American, the brand appointed Clare Waight Keller, the first woman to this position. Although Keller made a splash by signing Meghan Markle’s wedding dress, he could not give ready-made clothing the buzz it deserved and left the house after 3 years. .. There is very little time left for Matthew Williams to make his mark. Then without much more success. We know that the fashion industry is impatient and expects immediate results: the American is the latest victim.

The brand, which has not yet announced the name of the potential replacement for the brand, has transferred the responsibility of the collections to the brand’s creative studio for now. But the rumor machine needs to move away quickly.

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