Matthew Williams, the man behind Alyx

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Without a great advertising campaign or a striking fashion show, the name of Matthew Williams and that of his label, Alyx have become, in just four years, one of the key references in a new generation of designers.

Far from being a newcomer, Williams went through various projects, such as Corpus Clothing, and #Been #Trill, before founding Alyx. However, some of his most visible works were created during his time as creative director of Kanye West and the Haus of Gaga - the creative group that designs clothes, accessories, and scenography for Lady Gaga. One of his last works for her began his trajectory towards the future; he said goodbye to Lady Gaga supervising her collaboration with Supreme in 2011. 

From his exposure to the world of Kanye West emerged #Been #Trill, a musical project that led to a brand that advanced some of Williams' ideas, but also set into motion the mass phenomenon of Off-White. Together with Virgil Abloh, Heron Preston, Florencia G, and Justin Saunders, plus occasional appearances by Kanye West, #Been #Trill aimed to be a group of DJs - an artistic collective - although, their line of textiles and accessories became the true trendsetter. What started like a joke between friends, and one with an expiration date, the brand ended up collaborating with Coca Cola, Martin RoseA.P.C., and Kim Jones

However, none of those names appear as references in the interviews given by Matthew Williams, who has tried, in Alyx, to avoid labels being imposed on him for some of his early work. Alyx tries to move away from its important past due to its current social relevance, but now is at a starting point of an evolution. In the creation of his own label, Williams works with his own ideas and references, the main difference from his previous works in which he tried to improve on ideas already created.

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Alyx is such a personal project that Williams chose the name of his daughter to represent his fashion design brainchild. The brand's long term strategy is based on the product: where there is an appreciation and care for those involved in the manufacturing process, as well as being mindful of potential environmental impacts. One element very important to Alyx is development time, where each new article that appears in its catalog only does so when completely necessary. This can be noted by some of the brand's first iconic accessories, the popular Rollercoaster belt, from which sprand a complete collection for both men and women.

The catalogs and videos of Alyx are another way of approaching the creation of their products. Taken with extreme care, garments and footwear are photographed by Nick Knight, one of Williams' influences and whom he usually names as his mentor. With his first book, Skinhead, Knight had already become a reference for subcultures, but his career developed close to fashion in works for Yohji Yamamoto,  Calvin Klein, Vogue, and also in music (he directed videos for Lady Gaga, Massive Attack, and the controversial Bound2 by Kanye West). The latest creation of Nick Knight's, SHOWstudio, explains much about his innovative personality, as well as the approach to how he communicates Alyx. 

The evolution of Alyx is only a reflection of the creative transition of Matthew Williams. The brand has seen collaborations with top brands like Fragment Design, Vans, and Mackintosh, paying homage to the skate world, New York rock style, London punk scene, as well as military references and motorbikes. Following the footsteps of his contemporaries, Kim Jones and Virgil Abloh, Matthew Williams and Alyx aim to dilute the border between streetwear and luxury.