An almost romantic mystery surrounds the life and the brand of Martin Margiela, a visionary artist and designer who made a revolution in the darkness of the spotlights that illuminated every other creative director of the time. Father of deconstruction technique, Maison Margiela’s collections are the manifesto of a punk and iconoclastic style, matched at the same time with a sartorial obsession that invests clothes with new meanings.
Martin Margiela, Belgian-born, graduated in 1957 at the Royal Academy of fine arts, immediately moving to Milan where he worked as a freelance for few years, and then he left for Paris to become Jean Paul Gauthier's assistant.
In 1982, something that profoundly marked his life happened: the meeting with Jenny Meirens; Jenny is the owner of a fashion boutique in Brussels, also known for the support given to emerging designers. The young woman understands the exceptional nature of Martin’s work and in 1988 they create together the brand Maison Martin Margiela.
The designer immediately worked with a ready made that tears and stitches, in full line with those years punk style, then reworking it in an almost obsessive sartorial key. This is where the iconic Maison Margiela jackets were born, taken, dismembered and reconstructed giving rise to unmistakable silohuettes.
This way of rethinking, evolving, changing and transforming, has also led to the creation of what are one of the most popular and desired fashion items ever: the Tabi boots whose debut dates back to the first fashion show in 1989.
In 2002 Renzo Rosso, owner and president of the OTB group, acquired the brand. This system of anonymity as his communication tool leads Martin Margiela to eclipse himself more and more until, in 2014, he definitively leaves the scene, leaving his place at Maison Margiela to the current creative director John Galliano. Galliano, who embodies an irreverent genius very closer to that of his predecessor, has kept the style with the brand's conceptual and experimental allure, enriching the house with other iconic items such as the Glam Slam bag.
Margiela is not just a brand, but a way of being and a very specific style, linked to an experimentation that is closer to pure art than to the consumerist and ephemeral seasonal trends of the last twenty years.