While luxury brands tend to be concentrated in Europe, talents can emerge anywhere. For Alyx, it came to life in Los Angeles, and was heavily influenced by the street fashion there.
Behind Alyx’s creation is Matthew Williams, a former musical creative director—whose notable works included those he has done with Rihanna, Lady Gaga and Kanye West—born and bred in the Golden State. His brainchild was a personal project, something he named after a person close to his heart: his daughter. But that alone wasn’t the only thing unique for the brand. Its rise to stardom did not follow the conventional steps as it was quick, but we must say, well-deserved.
How womenswear should be
When Alyx began, it was exclusively designed for women. Already equipped with a discerning eye that aided him previously in his former stint, he had a vision on how womenswear should be: strong and beautiful. Jennifer Williams, his wife who is also in charge of Alyx’s sales, was his style inspiration. Together, they grew up roaming the streets of California, skateboarding, attending fairs… overall, just having fun. Alyx was reliving their adolescence somehow.
Other luxury brands concentrate on fancier garments, but not Alyx. His was injected with a modern appeal, creating sporty and cool outfits out of leather. The brand makes use of the fabric to create silhouettes that are not only breathtaking but also standard cool. The garments can be worn by the cool kids most especially, but will also be suitable to all the other women who deem themselves and are seen by others as having street cred—just the very people the brand attracted.
Soon enough, the label had people anticipating its release of menswear. In 2016, it launched its unisex repertoire, with the bomber jackets, military-inspired shirts and kicky hiking boots stealing the scene.
Obsession to detail, and the staples
Alyx’s designs are often intentional and come with a backstory, as once Williams’ attention is captured, he just doesn’t let the thought go and makes follow-throughs as much as he can. Take for instance the buckles prominently featured in his collections. Said to be inspired by a trip to Six Flags, Williams soon found himself locating the manufacturer in Austria, changing minor details to make it fit in to the brand collection, and beginning the manufacture of the buckles.
More obvious perhaps is his fondness for military and punk-inspired details, that adds a vibe of toughness to Alyx’s garments. This can be noted even in the brand’s most popular items: its leather jackets and Italian-made bags.
Alyx, already showing a penchant for the unconventional, also brings back to fashion things that fell out of grace. In its Fall ‘18 collection, Alyx presented interior leg straps which no longer serve their original purpose besides just for decoration. And speaking of bringing back, the brand has revived the rollerskating shoe enough for most of its clientele to recall to mind the days of their carefree youth; yes, the HEELYs.
Only in others’ wildest dreams
Williams has a decade of experience in the music industry, and he’s no stranger to working with big names. But it’s not the only field he’s formed partnerships with. He’s collaborated with British photographer Nick Knight beyond his endeavors in music, created a collection that would leave one awestruck, and gained loyal fans along the way. At the height of its glory so far, Alyx has already produced items with Fragment, Vans, Mackintosh and Roa.
The brand also intensified the anticipation with its men’s line by having the likes of Kanye West, A$AP Rocky and Travis Scott wear some of them. Soon, people found themselves familiarizing more with the brand, thanks to Instagram influencers donning their own pieces from Alyx.
Building beyond the hype
In a matter of years, Williams and his family relocated to Ferrara, Italy, which is putting them right where materials for his items are manufactured. To be close to suppliers was actually one of the reasons for leaving for Italy. Since most of the fabrics are made from scratch, Williams wants to work directly with suppliers so that the latter could achieve exactly what Williams is shooting for. He knew that while he has already made a mark even just within a matter of two years, he has to work doubly hard to keep the spark that led to clients flocking to his collection.