Matthew Williams Leaves Givenchy After Less Than Two Years

Matthew Williams, the creative director of Givenchy, has announced his departure from the French luxury house after less than two years in the role. Williams joined Givenchy in June 2020, succeeding Clare Waight Keller, who left the brand in April that year. Williams was the seventh designer to helm Givenchy since its founding in 1952 by Hubert de Givenchy.

Williams said in a statement that he was grateful for the opportunity to work with Givenchy and that he was proud of what he and his team had accomplished. He did not give a reason for his exit, nor did he reveal his future plans. He thanked the Givenchy staff, the LVMH group, and his mentor, Virgil Abloh, who passed away last month.

Matthew Williams Leaves Givenchy After Less Than Two Years
Matthew Williams Leaves Givenchy After Less Than Two Years

A Streetwear Sensibility

Williams, who is also the founder of the cult label Alyx, brought a streetwear sensibility to Givenchy, infusing the brand with his signature hardware, leather, and denim. He also collaborated with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Bella Hadid, and Kendall Jenner, who wore his designs on the red carpet, in music videos, and on social media.

Williams’ collections for Givenchy received mixed reviews from critics and customers, who praised his craftsmanship and innovation, but also questioned his relevance and fit for the heritage house. Some of his most notable creations included a noose necklace, a denim bra, and a bow backpack, which sparked controversy and debate.

A Challenging Time

Williams’ tenure at Givenchy coincided with a challenging time for the fashion industry, which was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on consumer behavior, retail, and travel. Williams had to adapt to the new reality of presenting his collections digitally, without the usual runway shows and events. He also had to face the competition from other luxury brands, such as Dior, Balenciaga, and Louis Vuitton, which were led by his peers and friends, such as Kim Jones, Demna Gvasalia, and Virgil Abloh.

Givenchy said in a statement that it respected Williams’ decision and that it wished him all the best for his future endeavors. The brand did not announce a successor for Williams, nor did it give a timeline for the appointment. Givenchy said it would continue to pursue its strategy of developing its global presence and strengthening its position as a leading luxury house.

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