Far removed from his time building the cult-slash-parody streetwear label and DJ collective #BEENTRILL#, Matthew Williams' Alyx (named for his three-year-old daughter) has come to represent fashion’s new guard in a world where brands—be it small-time streetwear or major-league designers—are a dime a dozen. Debuting Alyx’s first menswear collection with GQ Style, Williams challenged himself to create clothing that can make a statement and justify its space on store shelves.

“I believe that there are too many clothes on this earth,” Williams confessed to GQ Style. “If I am going to take the responsibility of making clothing, I need to make something that deserves to exist.” His first complete men’s offering—a Berlin-meets-Bone Thugs-n-Harmony-inspired collection entitled “E. 1999 Eternal”—aims to address that responsibility directly.

It’s that level of responsibility that has spurred Williams’ own commitment to his clothing, relocating his family to Ferrara, Italy to be as close as possible to the processes and factories crafting his vision. Williams’ delay in launching a men’s collection is due, in part, to his measured approach in researching new washing and fabrication techniques. “My collections are heavily developed, from the fabric down to all the trim,” he explains. “If you do something that somebody has done before it’s difficult to make well, let alone if you do something that’s actually new and special.”

Unsurprisingly, Williams’ long-term commitment to his design process works hand-in-hand with his emphasis on sustainability. Criticizing the near-endless clutter of brands, Williams remarks, “I feel like there should be a kind of an exam for people to be allowed to make clothes." Actively trying to avoid creating waste, Williams utilized upcycled materials to construct his graphic tees as a small way to acknowledge and address the amount of waste fashion creates. It’s a move that saves 1000 gallons of water per shirt. According to Williams, “We’re not using more resources to create stuff that people throw away.” Even his approach to leather goods is focused on sustainability, albeit in a more abstract way: “It’s sustainable in the fact that we’re making something I hope people will keep in their closets for decades.” Considering that fashionable friends and trusted style outlets often advocate a “buy less, but buy better” approach to shopping, this isn’t that crazy a thought.

Shop Alyx's earlier releases below and be sure to visit GQ Style to see the entire lookbook and follow the full story.

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