23 October 1971
Matthew Williamson is an English fashion designer. He was born October 23rd, 1971 in Chorlton, Manchester. He grew up and studied there until the age of 17, when he was offered a place on the Fashion Design degree course at Central St Martins College, London.
Graduating from Central St Martins in June 1994 with a BA in Fashion Design and Printed Textiles, his first job following graduation was a freelance design project with Marni. Matthew was then employed by British fashion company, Monsoon and Accessorize.
The luxury fashion house, Matthew Williamson, was founded in February 1997 by designer, Matthew Williamson and CEO, Joseph Velosa. In September 1997 Matthew Williamson showed his infamous debut collection, ‘Electric Angels’, during London Fashion Week. Bias cut dresses and separates in exotic shades of tangerine, fuchsia and magenta were worn by models Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Jade Jagger. This unique collection of bright, intricately detailed pieces defined and set the pace for the highly recognisable Matthew Williamson signature aesthetic.
Following this initial show, Matthew Williamson’s collections have continued to gather momentum, cementing his reputation as an internationally renowned designer and one of the UK’s leading designer talents. In February 2002, Matthew showed for the first time during New York Fashion Week expanding opportunities within the press and attracting a wider audience commercially.
The award-winning Matthew Williamson flagship store first opened at 28 Bruton Street, Mayfair, London in March 2004. In 2005 Matthew Williamson took over as Creative Director at LVMH owned Italian house, Emilio Pucci, whilst continuing at the design helm of his namesake company. In September 2008 Matthew Williamson returned to London full time in order to focus fully on his own label’s forthcoming ventures and expansion.
In August 2007 TSM Capital acquired an equity stake in Matthew Williamson Holdings Ltd. Baugur Group, which invested in the company in 2006, maintains a significant equity interest in the business. TSM Capital made the investment in collaboration with the Aronsson Group. Combined, Matthew Williamson and Joseph Velosa, the company’s founders, retain the majority stake in the company.
In September 2007 Matthew Williamson was invited to celebrate the label’s 10th year anniversary by returning to London fashion week for an anniversary show which included an exclusive performance by legendary artist, Prince. An exhibition dedicated to his retrospective titled, "Matthew Williamson – 10 Years in Fashion" was also held at the Design Museum, London.
Matthew Williamson won the Red Carpet Designer of the Year at the 2008 British Fashion Awards; previously having been awarded Elle Designer of the Year in 2004 and the 2005 Moet and Chandon Fashion Tribute Award. He has also been nominated 3 times for Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.
In 2009, Matthew Williamson opened its first US flagship store in New York, accompanied by a further stand alone retail store in the Dubai Mall, Dubai. This was closely followed by the launch of online stores for the UK, Europe and US.
In 2009, Williamson cooperated with Swedish clothing company H&M. His collection for men and women, which launched on 23 April included his first venture into the menswear market. In September 2009, Matthew Williamson was invited by the British Fashion Council to return to celebrate London Fashion Week’s 25th anniversary.
In Autumn 2010, a self-titled book Matthew Williamson was published by internationally renowned publishers Rizzoli. The book is written by Colin McDowell with a foreword by Sienna Miller, and contributions from Anna Wintour, Alexandra Shulman and Diane Von Furstenberg. An accompanying photographic exhibition marked the book launch at Somerset House.
Spring 2011 marked the launch of a diffusion line: MW by Matthew Williamson. As part of a new licensing agreement with Italian company Mariella Burani Fashion Group, the diffusion line is a more affordable collection to target a wider global audience.
The luxury fashion house Matthew Williamson Ltd now produces 4 women’s ready-to-wear collections annually and currently has a customer portfolio which includes 170 prestigious wholesale accounts around the world.
Text Courtesy: MatthewWilliamson.com, Wikipedia.org
Below Matthew Williamson Collection