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Beoplay E8 motion Alyx Edition

Matthew Williams, 1017 ALYX 9SM Alyx Creative Director Design Story

We met Matthew Williams, 1017 ALYX 9SM Creative Director in Paris ahead of his runway show for the presentation of the FW20 Collection. We talked about how he fuels his creativity and how our collaboration was born.

Können Sie uns ein wenig zu Ihren Gedanken über Musik und Mode erzählen – und zu deren Zusammenspiel?

Für mich sind Musik und Mode schon immer eng miteinander verbunden gewesen. Meine Faszination für Mode begann ja eigentlich damit, dass ich beim Ausgehen sah, was die Leute in Clubs und auf Konzerten trugen – so bestand für mich eine starke Verbindung zwischen beiden. Sie inspirieren sich in gleichem Maße gegenseitig. Gehen also Hand in Hand. Meine Kollektion ist sehr stark durch Musik inspiriert – sei es durch Lieder, die Menschen hinter den Liedern oder die Jugendlichen, die zu den Shows gehen – alles ist extrem eng miteinander verwoben.

Gab es bestimmte Musiktitel oder Künstler, die Sie mehr als alle anderen inspiriert haben?

Im Laufe der Jahre verläuft das in Wellen, wenn Sie verstehen, was ich meine ...? Es sind immer wieder andere Künstler, ja, ich wurde von verschiedenen Künstlern inspiriert, Rappern wie Playboi Carti, Leuten wie Morissey von den Smiths, sogar Mick Jagger – also, ja, es gibt so viele, deren Anblick mich inspiriert. Auch Iggy Pop, der ist wirklich cool.

Welche Art Musik haben Sie im Laufe der Jahre gehört, und inwiefern hat sie Ihre Art, Kleidung zu entwerfen und Ihre kreativen Rätsel verändert?

Ich hatte wirklich Glück, weil mein Vater ein echter Musikfan war, sodass ich von Kindheit an zwischen Vinylschallplatten und deren Nachfolgern aufwuchs. Da gab es alles von Soulmusik über Blues bis Rock und Reggae – und als ich in den 90er-Jahren in Kalifornien aufwuchs, kam ich zum Rap. Als ich dann zum ersten Mal nach Europa kam, bekam ich mehr von Technomusik mit. Meine Liebe zur Musik ist also in puncto Geschmack sehr vielseitig. Der durchläuft sozusagen verschiedene Phasen, in denen ich mich mit bestimmten Genres und Künstlern besonders beschäftige; ich wechsle ständig zwischen unterschiedlichen Sachen. Jetzt mag ich auch Afropop sehr gern. 

  • Matthew Williams
  • Matthew Williams holding the Alyx mini-bag

Watch the interview with Matthew below

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In terms of the collab between Alyx and B&O how did it start and what are the synergies between those two things?

I met with the team at the Copenhagen fashion summit, and we really had a lot of shared visions. When that happens, the conversation becomes really fluid so our dialogue became really strong. I've always been a fan of B&O my entire life so it was just a dream to find a way to work on something together. I think definitely the synergies are craftsmanship with all the amazing finishes that you guys do with metal.  I also think that commitment to making products that are timeless and last forever are a quality that we share. 

Can you tell a little about the design process in terms of designing the Alyx Beoplay E8 motion in together with B&O?

We wanted to really merge the design language of both of our companies and I think that both Bang & Olufsen and Alyx are known for their work with metal, and anodizing and finishing. I felt that was a great way to link the two brands. We also added the graphic branding of our buckle on the case, which I think worked out really well. 

  • The iconic 1017 ALYX 9SM Buckle.

What is the buckle (Alyx iconic symbol) inspired by?

I mean, it has a double and triple entendre, but first, I just like it as an object and it's sculptural shape. The fact that it's made at a place that doesn't make things for fashion, I think, gives it an unseen value. I always remember this documentary where Stanley Kubrick talks about having clothes in the closets of rooms and scenes that nobody ever even sees, but there's this kind of unseen energy that makes its way into the screen through that. I feel the same way about the buckle being made in a way and at a place that's more mechanical with a company that makes engine parts. There is a weight and a sound to it that maybe somebody wouldn't know is why they gravitate to it, but their senses do. And then there’s the fact that I discovered it at six flags magic mountain when I was taking my family there. That's the place in California that you go for graduation or a birthday, or you might kiss a girl for the first time, or get over your fear of heights. So, it kind of represents for me, a place of transition, of being a child in your teen. I like that idea of transition and so it meant those things for me as well. 

Which role does the buckle in the collection?

I think the buckle is really like branding now, obviously we will make it functional as much as possible, but it's just like our logo at this point.

  • Matthew Williams in his studio
  • Beoplay E8 Motion Alyx detail
  • Matthew Williams before the runway show
  • Matthew Williams portrait

How would you describe the craftsmanship of your brand? How do you wave with different kinds of materials?

Well, the exciting thing about fashion is each category takes a lifetime to master, so we're always working and learning new things about shoes, knitwear, leather, tailoring, jersey, jewelry and the list goes on forever. So as we get better and more proficient in each process and build our language with certain materials, there become North Star goals that we really go for and sometimes those developments can take one, two, three years before they finally make their way in the collection. So, from a craftsmanship perspective we're constantly experimenting and trying things and they make their way into the collection when they can. I like to say that Alyx is modern craftsmanship. We use technology when we can or, we do with sustainability to create a new way of doing modern craft and I hope it's apparent when you touch and feel the clothes.

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