Matthew Williams talks LOVE CHAOS
I moved to NYC from LA when I was 21 to work in fashion. I had wanted to move to NYC since I was a teenager, so when I got offered a job I left within a week to get out there.
Your SS17 collection is called LOVE CHAOS. Explain the name—is it a tribute to New York?
The collection names are kind of like song titles and are just what I am feeling at that moment in time. I’d like people to find their own meaning in them, as I have. When I was working on LOVE CHAOS I became very aware of all the chaos in NYC—and was thinking how I still wouldn’t want to call any other place home, despite it all. There are a lot of ways to see love and chaos in daily life.
You worked with Spidi on some of the pieces in the collection. How did that come about, and what’s up with the high-performance moto gear trend at the moment?
I just reached out to Spidi because I really love their craftsmanship. I thought it would add great dimension and a level of authenticity to the moto jackets I wanted to make. I was looking to create real moto jackets, not a fashion interpretation of one. The real thing is always best…no?
You are spending more time in Ferrara to be closer to production—would you ever consider moving there full time?
I am really open to anything at this point in my life. I travel around the world so often that my home really ends up being a place to store my belongings. I do love Italy so much and enjoy spending a lot of time here. The craftsmanship and level of clothing I am able to produce here, as well as the beautiful people and culture, make it a very inspiring place. I am planning to spend a lot of time here for the next couple of years while I am building the infrastructure of my company. NYC is where my home is, but ALYX is a global brand and I plan to continue traveling wherever I need to in order to develop the company in the way I feel is best.
Who are your design heroes?
I have so many. Each designer I like is for a different reason. Some favorites are Hedi, Raf, Alexander McQueen, Miuccia Prada, Rick Owens, Phoebe, Ghesquière; I also have so much respect for the designers at Supreme and Stüssy.
What’s the central idea behind ALYX?
ALYX is my ongoing personal monologue. I want to see people living life in ALYX.
You lived in London assisting Nick Knight and he now works with you on all your catalogues. What's the creative process like?
We spend a lot of time discussing the concept, and then just do it. We have spent so much time together in the past and have worked on so many projects that we now have a backlog of ideas that we want to realize. So a lot of the work in recent history has begun as ideas we discussed in years passed that we wanted to develop further. He has a great team and we are always so proud of the final product. I feel very lucky to be creating work with him each year.
Tell me about the collab with Vans? Did you grow up skating?
Yes, I grew up skating in California. When I began skating it was a much smaller sport than it is now and was really for kids that didn’t fit in—for misfits. I guess the fashion world in NYC was also for misfits, which is why I gravitated to these places and things. The culture and style of skating will forever be a part of who I am. I am really thankful and excited to be collaborating with Vans. It is their first female-focused collaboration in many years. We have also sized the shoes up for men, but we are celebrating ALYX GIRLS and VANS GIRLS on this one. We have worked hard to bring some of the classic silhouettes from the original Van Doren workshop into the world of ALYX.
Are you planning a runway show next season, and if so would it be in New York?
As of now I don’t have any plans for a runway show next season…we will see…