Nike Taps Alyx’s Matthew Williams For New Capsule Collection
Matthew Williams isn’t the first fashion designer to do a collaboration with Nike but he’s on a mission to do something far from the designers that preceded him. Formerly of the notorious collective #BEENTRILL#, Williams has been at the forefront of one of today’s most relevant and exciting brands—Alyx. While the brand launched its first women’s collection in 2014, it only formally entered the menswear space back in 2017. Likely sensing the buzz building around Williams and his clear potential as a collaborator (see his top-notch work with Mackintosh), Nike tapped the designer to give his unique insights on a new collaboration collection.
The collection is titled Nike x MMW, named for Williams’ initials. Williams is designing a collection which will harness data regarding motion, heat and sweat—much like Nikelab’s A.A.E T-shirt—to create the “future uniform of training.” Williams explains that, “what computational design and computer data can offer is really the future of design. It allows us to see things or take things further than we might otherwise. It helps to create a different perspective that we can build around. Working in tandem—with data and emotion—is super interesting.”
Although the designs feature heavy input from data and test results, Williams assures fans there will be a human element to the process, as evident in the raw edge finish of the women’s mid layer tank. “You need human beings to still figure out how to interpret data in a great way” Williams says. “The storytelling of how the product links to its use and bring an emotion to it into—tug on the heartstrings a little bit. That's where I see my role.”
Also important to note: The collection will be under the Nike Training category, making Williams one of very few ‘fashion’ designers to work under that particular division.
The collaboration will feature menswear and womenswear, with items ranging from T-shirts and tank tops to socks and towels. Of course the collection’s focus on functionality applies to practically everything, with the Dri-Fit sock boasting a moisture-wicking second layer, while the gym towel features hanging straps for easy storage and portability during any activity. Even Nike Nike’s VP of Apparel Design Kurt Parker can appreciate this attention to detail. “You need functionality in multiple areas in a training collection because we know it won’t only be used in the gym. For example, you need pockets, and you need elements that are detachable and adaptable,” Parker explained. “Matthew included a towel as part of the collection, which is something that he knew was needed”
See the editorial, photographed by the legendary fashion photographer and SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight, above. The Nike x MMW collection is set to release July 12.