Fashion Fact #8

No one knows what Martin Margiela looks like.

Maison Martin Margiela, Fashion Fact, spring summer 2008, fall winter 2008, menswear

Maison Martin Margiela. Left, spring summer 2008, right, autumn winter 2008.

My fashion savvy readers are probably groaning right now, thinking that this is not new or exciting information, but in fact, not everyone knew that Margiela is a very…secretive person. (I’ll bet he hangs out with Banksy.) I mentioned the gorgeous MM6 collection on Sunday, and I thought I’d follow up with a bit about the brand. Some of this is a repeat of a post from 2009, but I thought it was ok to repost it, since most of you weren’t reading my blog back then (in fact, hardly anyone was.)

Anyway, Margiela doesn’t do any personal appearances. He never meets journalists, talks to them, or communicates directly with them. (Not even the major journalists have met him. ) In fact, the brand communicates as a company, never as a person. For example, they would never say “Margiela chose to recycle and reconstructed old jeans this season”, they would say “Maison Martin Margiela has recycled and reconstructed old jeans this season.” It is always the “Maison”, not the individual.

Maison Martin Margiela, Fashion Fact, spring summer 2008, fall winter 2008, menswear

Right, a Maison Martin Margiela clothing label. Left, the explanation of what each number means.

The brand is very impersonal on all levels, the models often have their faces hidden or the catwalks feature few well-known faces (as not to distract from the clothing), and the labels have no name on them (they have numbers instead.) The stores also don’t have signs outside.

Nowadays a brand couldn’t get away with this, it would seem pretentious. But Maison Martin Margiela has been going since the 90’s and is one of the first conceptual, avant garde brands. This strategy is part of the house’s signature. And perhaps it is this approach of anonymity that has kept the brand going, despite Martin Margiela’s departure in 2009. He is no longer designing for his namesake brand, and a design team has kept the brand going since then.

Read more Fashion Facts:
Fashion Fact #1 Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent went to the same fashion design school
Fashion Fact #3 Halston pioneered the concept of a brand ambassador in fashion
Fashion Fact #6 Salvatore Ferragamo invented the cork wedge

  • kirsty

    if you google his name, you’ll find a picture of him allegedly taken in 1997. do you think it could really be him? I’ve read articles citing this one known supposed photo of him.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know… That is sort of how I imagine him to look, but if no one has
    confirmed it, and the people speculating haven’t seen him, how do we know?
    Google ruins everything, doesn’t it? :-)

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