Matthew Williamson

Born: Manchester, England, 1971

Matthew Williamson Designer Biography

Studying Fashion Design and Printed Textiles at Central St Martins, Matthew Williamson graduated in 1994. After graduating, Williamson began a freelance design project with Marni which led to him designing for Monsoon and Accessorize.

In 1997, Williamson launched his own fashion house – Matthew Williamson, with the backing of Joseph Velosa. His debut show at London Fashion Week, ‘Electric Angels’, featured supermodels Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Jade Jagger. With bias cut dresses, bright colours and intricate details, Williamson set his signature aesthetic.

In 2002, Williamson showed at New York Fashion Week for the first time. Two years later, his first flagship store opened in London. In 2005 Williamson took over as Creative Director at Emilio Pucci, while still designing for his own company. The same year, Williamson’s company began a fragrance line.

In 2007, Williamson celebrated the label’s 10 year anniversary at London Fashion Week which included a performance by Prince. An exhibition at the Design Museum in London was also held, entitled ‘Matthew Williamson – 10 Years in Fashion’.

In 2008, Williamson was awarded with the ‘Red Carpet Designer of the Year’ at the British Fashion Awards. The following year, the first flagship store in the United States was opened in New York, followed by a store in Dubai. Shortly after, e-commerce stores were created for Europe and the US.

In 2009, Williamson embarked on a one off collaboration with H&M, for men and women, showcasing his first venture into menswear. In 2010 a capsule collection for men was designed exclusively for Harrods and the flagship stores. The following year a menswear range was created. Also in 2011 a diffusion line ‘MW by Matthew Williamson’ was launched for a wider target audience.

Known for his Indian influences, Matthew Williamson uses bright colours and intricate detailing to produce beautifully inspired clothing.

In September 2012, Matthew Williamson celebrated the 15th anniversary of his career, and to mark the occasion, a short film titled “XV” was created in collaboration with Swarovski. The film featured friends of the brand like Sienna Miller, Andrea Riseborough, and Poppy Delevingne. It was exclusively showcased on alongside a limited edition Swarovski collection of crystal dresses.

Following this, Williamson expanded his brand into the home and lifestyle sectors. In 2013, he launched a collaboration with Osborne & Little, introducing a range of home furnishing fabrics and wallpapers. Subsequent collections named ‘Samana’ in 2014 and ‘Cubana’ in 2015 followed. In 2016, Williamson partnered with Duresta to release his first furniture collection. He also ventured into creating cards, stationery, and a designer colouring book featuring prints from his previous fashion collections. Another collaboration emerged in October 2016, this time with CB2, a division of Crate & Barrel, focusing on homeware products.

In 2019, Williamson appeared as a guest judge on the first series of BBC Two’s Interior Design Masters. He later returned in the eighth week to help judge the final. Matthew continued as a guest judge on the show, providing advice and appraisal to aspiring designers in the competition. He will be returning to judge season 4, set to air in spring 2023.

In 2022, Matthew launched a homeware collection for John Lewis, featuring his signature bold colours and maximalist botanical wallpapers, bedding, cushions, towels, mirrors, lighting, and candles. This collaboration with the department store chain is the largest of its kind and will continue, with a new collection set to launch in 2023.

Also in 2022, Matthew designed the interior of The Cocktail Club’s Birmingham location, which is the bar’s largest site to date. The cocktail bar’s decadent interior showcases Matthew’s distinct use of pattern and colour, incorporating elements like leopard print sofas, gold leaf ceiling hangings, and a centrepiece featuring a 1970s London Zoo cheetah.

Matthew Williamson Biography

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Written by Saxony Dudbridge

Saxony Dudbridge was one of the first contributors to the Catwalk Yourself project, Saxony studies International Fashion Marketing and she is responsible for our great History and Designers Biographies sections.

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