It was announced earlier this spring that Givenchy’s creative director, Clare Waight Keller, would be leaving her position designing for the brand after just three years. Waight Keller was the first-ever woman to be named Artistic Director of the iconic French design house and today news of her replacement broke.
The New York Times reported that American designer Matthew Williams will replace Waight Keller as creative director and will be responsible for all creative aspects of the brand ranging from women’s and men’s to accessories.
Williams is the third designer to head up creative at Givenchy in a three-year period, and he will bring an exciting transition for the brand. While Waight Keller’s aesthetic differed from what fans had seen from Givenchy in the past, Williams, who has no formal design training, comes from a streetwear background. The designer is the founder of haute streetwear line 1017 Alyx 9SM and he has an impressive resume including gigs collaborating with both Lady Gaga and Kanye West.
This move may be surprising to some, but as fashion has moved towards a more casual and streetwear heavy aesthetic, the choice is not all that shocking. It’s worth noting that Givenchy is owned by LVMH, and this choice follows the appointment of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, whose background is also in streetwear. Additionally, Williams’ aesthetic is more in line with Riccardo Tisci’s, who presided over Givenchy prior to Waight Keller from 2005 to 2017.
Givenchy posted a message on its instagram page from Williams who expressed both honor and positivity toward his new role for the brand stating: “The Maison’s unique position and timeless aura make it an undeniable icon and I am looking forward to working together with its ateliers and teams, to move it into a new era based on modernity and inclusivity.” His tenure begins tomorrow, June 16th.