1017 ALYX 9SM
New York, USA and Ferrara, Italy
1017 ALYX 9SM (formerly Alyx) is the brainchild of Matthew Williams, which since launching in 2015 has firmly cemented its position at the cutting-edge of the international fashion scene. The label’s innovative designs marries luxury streetwear with high fashion and leatherwear, taking cues from California and NYC skate, punk and club subcultures from Williams’ youth – with an edgy spin on utility and safety.
The ‘aggressively elegant’ label started out with womenswear, later adding menswear in 2017. (But the first official menswear pieces saw the light of day already in a commissioned capsule collection for Hiroshi Fujiwara In 2016).
The brand has become synonymous with its usage of advanced technical fabrics and industrial statement accessories, with Williams’ ingenious rollercoaster buckles (inspired by a trip to theme park Six Flags Magic Mountain), spawning a string of trend-setting, must-have accessory drops. Their signature rollercoaster belt didn’t evade anyone, or the stylish Berlinesque harness. And everyone clocked the ALYX Chest Rig Bag draped across Kanye, whilst Bella Hadid has been seemingly inseparable from her ALYX Cross Body Bag.
This has earned the label a slot at Paris Fashion Week, and Williams a coveted 2016 LVMH Prize finalist nomination. Williams also counts notable collaborations with Moncler, Nike for the MMW Technical Runner, and Dior Men (creating accessories for Dior’s SS19 collection) with accolades hailing all around. Suffice to say, 1017 ALYX 9SM has come into its own and rightfully so – independently of the designer’s own star-studded past.
Williiams started out in the music industry working with Kanye West in 2008, and later famously as Lady Gaga’s creative director. (Williams was also working on a Gaga costume design from a sketch by Alexander McQueen shortly before he passed away in 2010.)
In 2011 Wiliams quit his job with Gaga and moved to London teaming up with legendary fashion photographer Nick Knight. He would later go on to set up social media phenomenon/DJ collective Been Trill with Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston, before starting 1017 ALYX 9SM, which “marks the beginning of finally doing my own thing”.
Fast-forward to the present and the fashion industry awaits the next 1017 ALYX 9SM-drop with baited breath. Take the chunky Swoosh Hero Chains collab with Nike, which dropped in February 2019, just as an example. It sold out in a split second, even with a hefty price tag of $627, with fans complaining about the lack of heads-up.
Williams is also big on sustainability, dropping the ALYX Visual diffusion collection made from entirely upcycled cotton from pre-used clothing in 2018, and revealing a blockchain-powered pilot programme in June 2019, in an attempt to tackle supply chain transparency.
What does the name 1017 ALYX 9SM stand for?
ALYX (pronounced “ah-leeks”) is named after Williams’ daughter, the number 1017 is a reference to Williams’ birthday, October 17, and 9SM is taken from the label’s founding studio address in Saint Mark’s Place, New York City.