“Don’t get lost in the haze, man.” Bigger than Venice, smaller than Bologna, and situated somewhere in between, the city of Ferrara interrupts the barren plains of the Emilia-Romagna region. Michelangelo Antonioni, director of the seminal 1970 film Zabriskie Point, is the town’s favorite son. But walking past Castello Estense, home of the Medici family’s arch rivals – the Este Clan – it is hard to conjure up images of a countercultural revolution. Ever the radical, Antonioni would have recommended an off-season visit, “When the fog descends so thickly one cannot see a meter ahead, that’s when I liked to walk the streets.” This is sightseeing for your third eye only.
Today, in a counter of counterculture, West Coast seeker and former art director for Kanye West and Lady Gaga, Matthew Williams finds inspiration in Ferrara. His brand ALYX combines the recklessness of American youth with the care of Italian luxury fabrication, streamlining streetwear with plays on scale that disturb the eye. The brand is named after Williams’s three-year-old daughter, muse, and precocious reader of 032c: “Being a father has matured my creativity and given me more life perspective. My family is fully immersed in my work, as my wife helps in every aspect of the collection, and we travel with our daughter.”
When passing through Ferrara, Williams recommends stopping at the Palazzo dei Diamanti for their current exhibition of De Chirico, whose haunting surrealism is an apt complement to the angular optics of Ferrarese architecture.
With Matthew Williams and ALYX, 032c has made a belt and a poster. Both are available now.