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He will replace Clare Waight Keller.

By Alyssa Hardy
Jun 15, 2020 @ 11:30 am
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NEWS: Givenchy Names Matthew Williams Creative Director
Credit: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

Designer Matthew M. Williams has been named the new creative director of Givenchy, the brand announced in a press release on Monday. Williams will take over for Clare Waight Keller, the first female leader for the brand, who started in 2017 and left this past April.

Renaud de Lesquen, CEO and President of Givenchy, said in a statement, "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." Williams added that he was excited to take over during an "unprecedented" time in 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.

Williams is a 34-year-old California native and founded his own brand 1017 Alyx 9SM in 2015. One year later, he was a nominee for the 2016 LVMH Prize for Young Fashion Designers and gained notoriety through that. He has also worked with some huge celebrity names including Lady Gaga, Kanye West, and Virgil Abloh. Alyx is known for roller coaster buckle accessories and streetwear collaborations with brands like Stussy.

The announcement comes at a moment when the fashion industry is in flux. The coronavirus pandemic completely upended the traditional fashion calendar, changing the way many brands are looking at seasons. Alongside this, the Black Lives Matter movement has brought to light the racial inequities across the industry, including those on the brand level.

In the last few years, LVMH, the company that owns Givenchy, has made moves to put Black people at the helm of some of its brands including Rihanna at Fenty and Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton. As they continue to shift their leadership, the hope is any new appointees will push to create new, more inclusive environments that impact the industry as a whole.