Matthew Williams’s Alyx label went from breakout to renowned almost immediately. An uncompromising commitment to quality and functionality, inside a comprehensively modern aesthetic package is the expression of a principle that Williams expressed in a 2017 interview with GQ. Clothing has to deserve to exist.
Taking something fundamentally subjective, like fashion and style, and placing the merest hint of an objective value judgment, especially as one as emphatic as deserves, is stepping right into a philosophical minefield. If you were to ask a hundred different people how they would define fashion that deserved to exist, you would most likely get a hundred different answers. If these disparate, individual perspectives were to yield some kind of common ground, it would likely be the notion that clothing that “deserves to exist” exists outside of a purely commercial milieu. Self expression, objet d’art, anti-fashion sociological commentary, pure functionality, the specifics may vary, but generally, people do not like to think of themselves as unwitting functionaries in a self propagating cycle of mercantile transactions.
When it comes to the world of performance sportswear, the existential crisis of deserving to exist is turned on its head. Every single item, from expensive outwear down to a basic pair of socks is, ostensibly, designed to perform a specific function. A quality that stands out in the arena of pure fashion is inherent to performance wear. To visually express a heightened sense of deliberate thought, sportswear needs to possess an elevated sense of style, and functionality.
The Training Series 002 collection utilizes the athlete generated data informed design process that produced the React sole, to create pieces that flow freely from one set of needs to the next. The computer data driven functionality of features like modular layers, sophisticated climate control, smart storage, and magnetic buckles is interspersed with human “imperfections,” as Williams artfully dissolves the boldly drawn lines that divide leisure, fashion and performance into distinct categories.