Matthew M. Williams’ brand eyes retail expansion after securing billionaire Hong Kong investor

What Happened: Hong Kong entrepreneur and New World Development scion Adrian Cheng has taken a majority stake in Matthew M. Williams’ luxury streetwear label 1017 Alyx 9SM for an undisclosed sum. Williams, who is also the creative director of Givenchy, told the media on November 17 that the investment would help the brand hire more staff and expand its accessories, footwear, and jewelry offerings. 

“​​I am thrilled to embark on this journey of nurturing talent and contributing to the evolution of the fashion industry,” Cheng said in a statement. “1017 Alyx 9SM, under the creative direction of Matthew Williams, embodies the spirit of innovation that I am passionate about supporting.”

Williams also announced plans to relocate 1017 Alyx 9SM from Milan to Paris and likely open its first boutique there, with potential future locations in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Tokyo.

The Jing Take: Billionaire Cheng has retail and property empires that include luxury malls all across Greater China and Chow Tai Fook Enterprises, giving him plenty of experience in the world of luxury and fashion. He seems now on a mission to invest in young, cutting-edge designers who are redefining the industry, particularly those bridging fashion with art, music, and culture. 

And Williams is just that. Since being named Givenchy’s creative director in 2020, the American designer has offered an edgy, almost cyberpunk spin on menswear, departing from his predecessor Clare Waight Keller’s more traditional take. (That said, mention of Givenchy is noticeably absent from recent LVMH earnings reports, suggesting that financial performance has been lackluster.)

At the same time, he has brought this industrial aesthetic to 1017 Alyx 9SM — think rollercoaster buckles and metal lighter clips — and attracted collaborations with major fashion players like Nike, Moncler, and Dior, as well as niche names like American artist Marc Flood and rapper Destroy Lonely. Established in 2015 in partnership with Luca Benini, founder of the Italian street culture retailer Slam Jam, 1017 Alyx 9SM was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize in 2016.


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Cheng’s backing provides Williams’ label with both the retail expertise and capital needed to expand into physical retail. Cheng is the founder of K11 Group, which is known for its pioneering art-retail mall concept in Greater China. He is also a major fashion backer, having invested in e-commerce site Shein, independent designer platform Not Just a Label, and online luxury retailer Moda Operandi through his hedge fund, C Capital.

Chinese rapper Tizzy T (left) and Stray Kids member Seungmin (right) wear pieces from 1017 Alyx 9SM. Photo: Xiaohongshu

Currently, 1017 Alyx 9SM appears to have a limited presence in China, selling at the multi-brand boutique Citic Square in Shanghai. However, it is starting to gain traction in the region after collaborating with Edison Chen’s Clot and being worn by Chinese and K-pop stars.

On Xiaohongshu, the hashtag “1017Alyx9SM” now has 5.2 million views. Given Cheng’s background, substantial investment and China’s love for streetwear, perhaps it won’t be too long before Alyx’s wook boots and leather jackets flood the streets of major Chinese cities.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.