Will Matthew Williams’ Givenchy Work In China?

    Givenchy appointed the American designer Matthew M. Williams as its new creative director, but will the its direction resonate with Chinese luxury shoppers?
    In addition to his craft honed in fashion production, Williams cultivated strong relationships across other creative fields, including art, music, and photography. Photo: Courtesy of Paolo Roversi/Givenchy.
      Published   in Fashion

    On June 15, LVMH-owned Givenchy announced Matthew M. Williams as its new creative director, two months after Clare Waight Keller ended her haute couture journey at the Maison. The American designer and founder of the 1017 ALYX 9SM label will “take on all creative responsibilities for Women’s and Men’s collections” and will present his first designs in Paris this October. Sidney Toledano, chairman and chief executive of LVMH's Fashion Group, declared in a statement, “I believe [Williams'] singular vision of modernity will be a great opportunity for Givenchy to write its new chapter with strength and success." Williams also expressed gratitude for the group’s recognition and trust and describing his vision as “moving [the house] into a new era based on modernity and inclusivity.”

    The Jing Take

    While Waight Keller’s collections were praised inside the fashion world, the reception in China’s market was inferior compared to the work from former Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci. In this turbulent climate, the house will likely reconnect with the growth engine in today’s luxury market – millennials and Gen Zers — by giving the helm to Williams.

    Williams’ expertise in street culture, utilitarian influences, and his commitment to sustainable fabrication align with Givenchy’s ambition to pivoting toward a younger market. To date, Chinese netizens have shown an interest in how Williams will incorporate his unique takes on technology and modern craftsmanship, which often have a luxury streetwear edge. His appointment will be another promising transition for a legacy luxury house after Virgil Abloh’s historic appointment as the Men's artistic director for Louis Vuitton.

    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.

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