Maison Margiela: a conundrum from an invisible designer and the mystery of circled numbers

Brand history
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"An experience that changes nothing is hardly worth having."

Martin Margiela


This person has managed to keep his private life a closed book even in the century of the information's all-accessibility. One would be able to find only a few of his photos available in the Global Net, while his interviews were given in the third voice and exclusively via fax machine.  A bit of an enigma himself, Martin Margiela started his Haute Couture journey at "Jean Paul Gaultier," to which 80s show he once ironically got in by a fake pass.



Influenced by the deconstructive fashion trend, the Belgian designer was ready to launch his own eponymously named brainchild, avantgarde «Maison Martin Margiela." The roots of the brand's modern most recognizing trait - the predominance of white color, actually go back to the very year days of its existence. Having quite a limited budget, the founders had to dye all the inner decor in the cheap white paint, to reach the harmonious design.



Another outstanding feature of the label has been its materials - such as the remade vintage clothes. It has unconventional but because of that so appealing grunge vibe that sets aside the garments from other labels on the market. Then the mysterious circled numbers appear on each of the garments: it turns out that every number stands for the kind of collection, whether it is menswear or shoe capsule.



One of the most iconic Margiela's items is Tabi boots inspired by the traditional Japanese split-toe tabi socks. Working on the model's design, Margiela wanted to create an impression of walking barefoot - and he indeed succeeded in that job. 



With the departure of Martin Margiela in 2009, the brand with already an established anonymous reputation became completely faceless, as its CEO wanted a team of designers to continue developing the brand with a certain leader at the helm. Only since 2015, when John Galliano took over the role of the Creative Director it has started to reemerge by the new label "Maison Margiela." The drop of "Martin» was supposed to "represent an evolution of the house" - and Galliano indeed succeeded in that mission. Keeping the iconic deconstructivism DNA, the new designer exalted genderless and eccentric style, redefining the male and female silhouettes.



This year was highlighted by the extraordinary news - Martin Margiela himself will star in the "Martin in his words" documentary. As usual, not showing the face but only his hands, the Belgian designer opens up the veils to his childhood, career, and 20 years devoted to breaking the fashion canons.


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