Matthew Williams Leaves Givenchy as Creative Director

Photo: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Givenchy is parting ways with creative director Matthew Williams after three years. The change will be effective January 1, 2024, and his last collection with the LVMH-owned brand will be for men’s and women’s pre-fall 2024.

Williams, who got his start in fashion designing for Kanye West and Lady Gaga, and later founded the Been Trill collective with Heron Preston and the late Virgil Abloh, took over at the helm of Givenchy in 2020. His departure follows a recent pattern at Givenchy of notably short leadership tenures (Williams’s predecessor, Clare Waight Keller, stepped down after just two years) and perhaps an increasingly common, industry-wide practice among European fashion houses.

While the label received mixed reviews under Williams (the New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman once wrote: “The problem is, a year into Mr. Williams’s tenure, it’s still mostly unclear what his Givenchy is,” a sentiment that seemed to generally haunt the designer’s collections), he was able to bring Givenchy into a modern age. The brand’s Shark Lock boots and Voyou bag granted the brand virility and monetary movement in the form of a hero product. They also played into Williams’s hardware specialty, accenting some leather goods and fabrics with a lock and key, becoming a cohesive visual code. But that proved to be not enough.

The one holdout the fashion community was waiting to see from Williams, though, was his take on Givenchy couture. While he created custom couture for Tiffany & Co. and VIP clientele like Jodie Foster and Kendall Jenner, Williams never sent any collections down the runway during couture week.

We don’t know yet who will take over the brand but some names that have been thrown out online by fashion armchair experts are: Simon Porte Jacquemus of, of course, Jacquemus; Sarah Burton, who recently left Alexander McQueen; Alessandro Michele, who left Gucci last year; and Grace Wales Bonner. Some are even campaigning to bring Riccardo Tisci, who led the brand from 2005 to 2017, back. We will have to wait and see.

A statement from Givenchy said Williams plans to “fully dedicate himself to the development of his own brand, 1017 ALYX 9SM,” after his departure.

“Leading the creative direction of Givenchy was, as I said upon my arrival in 2020, the dream of a lifetime,” Williams said in that same statement from the brand. “Over these three years, I have strived to perpetuate Mr. Hubert de Givenchy’s legacy while bringing my own creative vision.”

Matthew Williams Leaves Givenchy as Creative Director