The Rise of Alyx Studios
Matthew William's accessory driven brand, Alyx Studios has become one of the most popular brands in the men's fashion community over the past few seasons, and with the launch of his menswear focused side of the brand, I only see it growing exponentially over the course of 2018. Back in early January, Kanye West wore one of their new season "chest rig" bags, and since then it has become one of the hottest items for Spring. The stars are aligning for Matthew Williams for a couple of core reasons outside of the actual design of his product.
Matthew Williams has had a long history in men's fashion, starting out as a DONDA Creative and BEEN-TRILL co-founder along with Heron Preston & Virgil Abloh. Since then he has launched ALYX Studios, which began as a womenswear brand in 2015, but just recently expanded into doing menswear. The popularity of ALYX hasn't been deflated due to it previously being a womenswear label. The roller coaster belt has been a popular item in the men's fashion community for the past 3 seasons now, which was the foundation for the initial growth and brand awareness for ALYX. It was a simple belt that had a good design and had enough popularity and uniqueness that a variety of influencers and customers bought into the belt, and later on the brand itself. When it was announced that ALYX would be expanding into a menswear label as well there was a lot of excitement from the cult following that Williams had built. F/W 18' had a small range of graphic tees, bombers, and accessories, but Williams called it a "precursor to what is to come." ALYX recently opened their online store to pre-orders, which offered a wide range of new accessories including new varieties of the roller coaster belts, cross body bags, and an amazing tactical vest in an olive colorway. In terms of clothing, the brand offers a small range of graphic T-shirts, tailored blazers, and very sleek/dark aesthetic trousers and distressed jeans. One of the most impressive things from ALYX this season definitely has to be the collaboration with UK Punk shoe purveyor George Cox. The crushed velvet creepers pay homage to the British designer while incorporating their own ALYX twist.
One thing I have noticed about ALYX, in general, is their pricing strategy. Most of the bags and “designed” pieces fetch upwards of $1,000 and for good reason. In William’s Hypebeast radio episode, he mentioned how most products nowadays are so manufactured by machines and computers that he wanted to really feel a hand was involved in his clothing. In addition, Williams mentioned that he is very environmentally conscious, so water reduction was a key to his brand’s manufacturing process. He said that they saved over 1 Million gallons of water this season alone. For a brand to have handmade garments that are environmentally conscious and are meant to be kept at a high-end price point, it only makes sense with ALYX’s pricing strategy. “There are tons of people who buy clothes from H&M and Zara that just buy clothes to stay warm.” William’s clothes are designed clothing that has a lot of deeper qualities to it outside of its sheer utility, which of course aligns with our ideology here at FMF. If you are going to spend, you might as well get something that is made to last and that is made responsibly by fair labor and responsible environmental practices.
There is no doubt that ALYX Studios will continue to grow in popularity as this year progresses. With co-signs from the likes of Kanye West, Luka Sabbat, Bella Hadid, Virgil Abloh, and Heron Preston it is hard to see ALYX declining in popularity. As Spring deliveries begin to hit retailers, you can best believe that ALYX products will move quickly from the shelves to the streets.
Be sure to check out our favorite picks from ALYX's Pre-Spring 18' offering below.
For more on ALYX and Mathew Williams check out his Hypebeast Radio Episode here.