With retailer Roden Gray.
Joining Canadian retailer Roden Gray for the first instalment of its new interview series titled “Conversations,” ALYX 1017 9SM founder and frequent Nike collaborator, Matthew M Williams sat down for a candid talk.
In a phone interview with Williams, who once served as Kanye West’s art director before going to work with Nike, Virgil Abloh and design jewellery for Kim Jones’ Dior, the designer spoke about his Nike collaborations, his advice for upcoming designers, sustainability within design and in the fashion industry and what it has been like to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.
On whether his priorities have changed in relation to fashion during a time such as now, with a pandemic sweeping through the world. Williams said “It’s interesting, because fashion, creativity and design is such a big part of my life. I am concentrating on being more present, while I am not traveling and staying inside. I’m thinking about how that relates to design and what clothing feels relevant for these times. Especially with the Nike collections. I’ve been doing a lot of online yoga with the family that I’m staying with. That’s been amazing, just to see how people are connected and able to do that in quarantine. It’s nice to see How everyone supports each other by still doing group activities. That’s given me a lot of insight for the Nike training collection that I’m working on right now.”
When probed about whether designers should be approaching design in more essential way for future collections, Williams explained: “No one really knows what the future will hold. In the current circumstances I think that designers should focus on smaller collections that address a more essential need for dressing, but also for expression. When we are putting on a runway show, we want to clothing to paint a full picture and sometimes we produce for repetition and consistency. For instance, we may want 10 of the same pants in the show. Now, with no show for this season, we can focus on producing what is necessary; working with a new grid and creating a procedure and perspective to reinvent our current reality.”
On what he thinks the silver lining of all this is, the designer said: “You know, the Earth is really getting a break. I don’t know if this fact is true, but someone was telling me that global emissions are going to be reduced by 10-15%. Imagine this goes on for a year. No one has been able to observe what kind of healing happens to the Earth after a year of no commercial travel until now. I think that’s the positive outcome from this situation. And I hope that this allows everybody to be more present in their life. Everything, at least in my life, has been so… busy and on to the next.”
Read the full interview Roden Gray here:
PHOTO CREDIT: RODEN GRAY // @matthewmwilliams