Benefit has been working with British fashion designer Matthew Williamson since 2012, providing the makeup for his 15th anniversary LFW catwalk show and more recently his 2013 autumn/winter collection inspired by the ethereal quality and vibrant aesthetics of the northern lights.
Now our collaboration reaches new heights and we are so very excited about the launch of the fabulous makeup kit The rich is back (exclusive to Debenhams UK) selected and designed by Matthew himself, it is filled with rich, seductive shades inspired by his vibrant prints. We wanted to give you a little background to the esteemed Matthew Williamson to help better understand his process and what creatively drives his ideas.
Matthew Williamson is internationally renowned for his signature aesthetic; a master of print, embellishment, attention to detail and kaleidoscopic colour. His collections reflect a refined yet spirited sense of glamour inspired by global and artistic influences.
The luxury fashion house produces four women’s ready-to-wear collections annually and currently has a global customer portfolio which includes 170 prestigious wholesale accounts and three standalone flagship stores including the award-winning Mayfair store in London, as well as Dubai and Qatar.
Matthew Williamson was born in Manchester in 1971. He grew up and studied there until the age of 17, when he was offered a place on the fashion degree course at Central Saint Martins College, London. Matthew graduated from Central Saint Martins with a BA in Fashion Design and Printed Textiles in 1994.
Matthew Williamson Ltd was founded in February 1997 by Matthew and CEO, Joseph Velosa. Matthew showed his acclaimed debut collection, ‘Electric Angels’, at London Fashion Week in September 1997. Matthew’s debut show of only fourteen vibrantly coloured looks worn by models including Kate Moss, Helena Christensen and Jade Jagger made a huge impact on the fashion world, showcasing a taster of what was to come in the years to follow.
In 2005 Matthew took over as Creative Director at the LVMH owned Italian house, Emilio Pucci, while continuing at the design helm of his eponymous company. In September 2008 Matthew 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 three times for Designer of the Year at the British Fashion Awards.
In Autumn 2010, a self-titled book 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.
September 2012 marked the 15th anniversary of Matthew’s career. To commemorate the occasion Matthew made a short film in association with Swarovski. The film, entitled ‘XV’ stars friends of the brand including Sienna Miller, Andrea Riseborough and Poppy Delevingne. It was showcased exclusively on Net-a-Porter.com alongside a limited edition Swarovski collection of crystal dresses.
The Matthew Williamson brand is now focused on developing its luxury main line with a shoe collection and a full bag range launching in 2013.
“Matthew Williamson has brought such joyful energy to the London fashion scene with his wonderful dragonflies, bright bubbly prints and unabashedly pretty clothes. He’s always been so clear about who he is – a designer who understands lifestyle as well as style, a follower in the footsteps of Celia Birtwell and Zandra Rhodes – and who his young, beautiful customer yearns to be. It’s been a real treat to watch his colourful career unfold.” – Anna Wintour, Editor-in-Chief, Vogue USA.