Over the past decade, a new category developed within the menswear hierarchy. Often referred to as either "luxury streetwear" or the more reductive “street luxury,” the label is slapped on brands ranging from Off-White to Heron Preston and Palm Angels. Though the origin of the nomenclature is clear–brands that ostensibly make “streetwear” but with premium fabrics at a luxury price point—as a catch-all term the expression is dated, particularly following the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collaboration which destroyed any notion that capital-"F" fashion and streetwear are separate entities.

While many of these brands have overlapping themes ranging from a Kanye West connection to New Guards Group distribution, in reality, they are drastically different, with disparate references and wide-range of aesthetics. In fact, perhaps the only brand where the term “street luxury” actually applies is 1017 Alyx 9SM. Even though the name is often considered derogatory, in this case it’s the highest compliment.

The only “streetwear” brand run by a true fashionphile, 1017 Alyx 9SM (or simply “Alyx”) actually sits at the intersection of luxury and contemporary fashion. Run by a former skater who holds Stussy and archive Raf Simons in equal regard, designer Matthew Williams Alyx spends as much time developing its futuristic tailoring as reworking vintage California skate shop graphics into its upcycled long sleeve T-shirts. Though defining streetwear is increasingly difficult, no modern brand is more adept at mixing downtown references with runway quality, a paradigm that many attempt but often fall short.

Of course, it’s infamous “rollercoaster” buckle is a brand calling card, but beyond hardware Alyx’s ability to combine '90s subcultural nostalgia with prescient luxury trends is the envy of many—and a near perfect reflection of the current state of menswear. As we move further into the next decade, where buyers are increasingly searching for quality and utility as opposed to trend, Alyx is one of the few labels jotting the course as opposed to simply riding the wave. Now, how the brand managed to do so much in so little time as another question altogether. The answer is one man: Matthew Williams.

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