Intricate feats of savoir-faire have defined Givenchy since its beginnings in 1952, the house’s namesake founder Hubert de Givenchy learning the art of couture – whereby each garment is sewn entirely by hand by a dedicated team of ‘petites mains’ – from masters of the post-war era, Jacques Fath and Elsa Schiaparelli.

Seven decades on, the house’s current creative director Matthew M Williams brings this same fastidious approach to his collections. Tracing the maison’s legacy through a sleek, contemporary lens, he meshes tough elements of metal hardware with lean silhouettes and smatterings of embellishment. Those who follow the designer on Instagram can see these imaginative leaps: Williams posts galleries that flip between images of Hubert de Givenchy’s original designs and his own riffs on the house’s archive.

The story behind the Givenchy TK-360 sneaker

sneaker

The Givenchy TK-360 sneaker 

But Williams is also a designer for whom technical innovation is key, and his own take on Parisian savoir-faire is epitomised in a new sneaker, the TK-360, shown here on a sculptural artwork created for the house by British multimedia artist Ewan Macfarlane. The shoe’s unique shape and fit – sleek and sporty, with a bold rounded back – are achieved from a singular piece of stretch-knit fabric, crafted directly onto the custom-moulded sole (it even extends over the sneaker’s underside, giving the TK-360 a unique tread and entirely monochrome appearance). 

Initial colours include classic black and optic white, as well as more vivid shades of acid yellow, graphite grey, camel, and pink. Williams calls it his ‘dream shoe’. ‘There is a sense of savoir-faire for sportswear created at a fashion company like Givenchy that is different from a sportswear company, but no less rigorous,’ says Williams. Of the unique design, whereby the knit tread will eventually show signs of wear, he adds, ‘Clothes and accessories can have a life where they evolve and change and take on history. The more these shoes wear, the more history they have.’ §