The Givenchy bag combining Parisian elegance with Californian cool

Matthew M Williams’ ‘Voyou’ bag for Givenchy sees the designer meld his American roots with the house’s heritage of French design and craft

Two Givenchy Voyou bags photographed on plinths
Left, ‘Voyou’ bag in mini pink leather, €1,490; right, ‘Voyou’ bag in medium silver leather, €2,050. Both by Givenchy
(Image credit: Photography by Sophie Gladstone, fashion by Kris Bergfeldt)

Illinois-born designer Matthew M Williams describes his S/S 2023 collection for Givenchy as a ‘transatlantic clash’, an amalgamation of style codes from his native United States and France, the home country of maison founder Hubert de Givenchy. A meeting of ‘Parisian elegance with California cool’, as Givenchy describes, the fusing of locales was encapsulated in the new ‘Voyou’ bag, which sees a ladylike V-shaped silhouette melded with tough, biker-inspired hardware and slouchy tumbled leather. It takes its name from a slang term in French, meaning ‘bad boy’.

Cultural exchange: Givenchy’s ‘Voyou’ bag

Givenchy Voyou bag photographed in plinth

‘Voyou’ bag in medium green leather, €1,850, by Givenchy

(Image credit: Photography by Sophie Gladstone, fashion by Kris Bergfeldt)

‘With the Voyou, you know at a glance that it’s Parisian, but it’s at home wherever it goes,’ says Williams. Of the S/S 2023 collection more widely, the Givenchy creative director explains that ‘everything began with Hubert… I looked into his archives with my adopted Parisian eye, but also with my instinctive American eye. The cultural exchange reflected in this collection has been a long time in the making.’

Arriving in mini, medium and large sizes, alongside a veritable candy shop of colours – from vivid shades of pink and mint green to shiny laminated leather and denim – the Voyou is the latest addition to what Williams calls his ‘lexicon’ of Givenchy, a thread connecting past and present in the designer’s glossy, contemporary style. ‘I want to revisit fashion archetypes with a kind of new language,’ says Williams.

Givenchy Voyou bag photographed on plinth

‘Voyou’ bag in large black leather, €2,200, by Givenchy

(Image credit: Photography by Sophie Gladstone, fashion by Kris Bergfeldt)

A version of this story appears in the April 2023 issue of Wallpaper*, available now in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today (opens in new tab). (opens in new tab)

Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands. 

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