MMM reference The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide

Believe it or not we have reached our 200th post here at Third Looks. A heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who has contributed, supported or simply enjoyed this blog since it’s humble beginnings over a year ago. I couldn’t think of a better way to commemorate this milestone than presenting this comprehensive Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide. A friend of mine is a Margiela devotee and has spent ample time and effort putting together this hefty reference guide on all things Maison Martin Margiela.

The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide

Information about Martin Margiela, and Maison Martin Margiela, is everywhere, but a proper reference does not exist.  With respect to Martin Margiela’s clear wishes to remain anonymous, and his continued silence after his retirement, I have omitted most personal information about him.  This is a long read meant as a reference, not an article.  If you are coming in totally blind, feel free to read the following short articles to get oriented:

Background – A summary from a Margiela expert.
Background – Vogue UK, a brief timeline.
Culture/Marketing – Cult of Invisibility Part 1 and Part 2.

Click through the jump for the Reference Guide

Table of Contents

Current Status

Owner: Only the Brave (Holding company of Renzo Rosso, Diesel)
Designer, Ready to Wear: MMM Design Team
Designer. Couture/“Artisanal”: Matthieu Blazy1
Namesake: Retired, 2009

Official Sites

 

Timeline

MMM reference 1 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
Photo Credit: Moss Online

1977-1979/80: Attends and graduates from Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.  Graduation date disputed.
1984-1987: Serves as Design Assistant for Jean Paul Gaultier (Book)
1988: Establishes Maison Martin Margiela with Belgian retailer Jenny Meirens under Neuf SAS (similar to an American LLC) and shows SS 1989 in Paris.  At this time it is only womenswear.  Line 1 established.
1989: Martin Margiela awarded the first ever ANDAM Award.
1994: Replica line officially made a part of Line 1; is included in Line 10 when it is established.  Eventually becomes a part of Lines 4 and 14 (date unknown).
1994: Charity AIDS t-shirt introduced for FW 1994.  Still in production. [Ed.the post originally stated 2004. We regret the error]
1997, May: The current label, with numbers 0-23 on white cloth, is introduced.  Previously, only a plain white, unmarked label was used.
1997, Oct: Line 6 – women’s diffusion line.
1997-2003: Martin Margiela serves as Artistic Director of Hermes women’s collections. Appointed in Apr. 1997 with his first show in FW 1998.2
1998, Mar: Line 22 – a collection of shoes for women
1998, Oct: Line 10 – the men’s equivalent of Line 1, introduced for SS 1999
1998, Oct: Line 13 – objects and publications.
1999, Apr: Line 15 – collaboration line with mail order company 3 Suisses, short lived.
2002, Jul: MMM/Neuf SAS sells its majority stake to Only the Brave, an Italian holding company owned by Diesel founder/President Renzo Rosso.
2003, Oct: Line 4 – a wardrobe for women, introduced for SS 2004
2004, Jun: Line 6, women’s diffusion, rebranded to mm6.
2004, Jul: Line 14 – a wardrobe for men, introduced for SS 2005
2005, Jan: Line 11 – a collection of accessories for women and men.
2005, Jan: Line 22 – a collection of shoes for women and men officially introduced for FW 2005/6.  Previously, small selections of footwear were released with Lines 1 and 10.
2006, Jan: MMM becomes a Correspondent Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.
2006, May: MMM presents its Haute Couture show during SS 2006, using “Artisanal” Line 0 pieces.
2007, Oct: Line 8 – eyewear collection.
2008: 20th Anniversary celebrations for MMM take place.
2008: Sartorial Collection, a capsule collection in Line 14, introduced for FW 2008/9.
2008, Mar: Line 1 separated from “Défilé (runway)” and given separate tags.
2008, Jul: Line 12 – a collection of fine jewelry.
2009, Oct 3: Renzo Rosso states that Martin Margiela “has not been there for a long time.”
2009, Dec 9: MMM officially confirms that Martin Margiela left MMM and the current design team would take over artistic direction rather than hiring a new head designer.
2010, Jan: Line 3 – fragrances, with unisex Fragrance “Untitled”.
2010, Oct: E-Boutique Launches3
2012, Jun 12: H&M x MMM confirmed
2012, Nov 19: H&M x MMM launches

*Unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained from the official Margiela timeline and glossary available on the official Maison Martin Margiela Facebook and the 20th Anniversary Monograph.4

Lines

MMM reference 2 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference GuideMMM reference 3 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference GuidePhoto Credit: MMM Official Facebook

0: “Artisanal” collection for women & men [Est 1988].  “Its concept was-and still is-to reconstruct new garments by using other garments or accessories, used or new… It [is] all about giving a new life to old and abandoned pieces, so they could be worn again in a different way.”1 “Artisanal” pieces exemplify the MMM legacy of deconstruction, referencing fashion history, and the documenting the passage of time.  Garments are given an “explanation card” which lists Collection, Reference (with ref. number and brief title), Description, Colours, Number Created (amount), Sizes, and Hours Spent Over Its Realisation.2  Men’s “Artisanal” items are marked with the 0 and 10 lines circled3, and written as “0 10”, “0-10”, “0/10”, etc.   After MMM became a Correspondent Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Jan 2006, MMM showed its first haute couture collection in May 2006 using the “Artisanal” Line, which it continues to do.  See also, Replica Line.  [For more information on the “Artisanal” Line and the themes it touches upon, see the section “Conceptual Hallmarks and Themes” below.]

” “: Défilé (Runway, or, literally “show”) collection for women [Est. 2008, March].  “The original and primary collection of women’s ready-to-wear by Maison Martin Margiela debuted for SS 1989.  This collection has traditionally been the subject of the Maison’s fashion shows and exhibitions.”  Given a plain white label free of any markings, the line was “created” by being separated from Line 1 when they had originally been two concepts under one Line.  Essentially, Défilé was created to sell only runway, and Line 1 to sell more unusual or avant ready to wear retail pieces.

1: The collection for women [Est. 1988].  “ ‘1’ is the collection in which Maison Martin Margiela expresses its love for concept, design and process, for creativity and the avant-garde.”   The first commercially released as Line 1 and the collection was tagged with a plain white label free of any markings, which continued until 2008.  It was announced in March 2008 that commercial ready to wear items would be marked with the normal label featuring numbers 0-23 and the “1” circled.   Défilé  (show) pieces took the plain white label.

3: Fragrance, in association with L’Oreal’s Luxury Products Division [Mar 2008 announced / Jan 2010 released].

4: A wardrobe for women.  Essentially women’s wardrobe basics, though explained as “a personal approach to dress, fixed on taste rather than on a seasonal approach to design, or a particular age group.”  [Oct. 2003 for SS 2004].

6 / mm6: Women’s diffusion line including clothes, shoes, and accessories. [Est. Oct 1997], [Rebranded mm6 in Jun 2004].

8: Eyewear collection [Est. Oct 2007 for SS 2008].

10: The collection for men, equivalent of women’s Line 1 [Est. Oct 1998 for SS 1999].

11: A collection of accessories for women & men; “bags, belts, small leather goods and a few items of jewelry.” [Jan 2005].

12: Fine jewelry collection made in collaboration with the Damiani group [Jul 2008].

13: Objects & publications [Oct 1998].

14: A wardrobe for men, essentially men’s yearly basics, equivalent of Line 4 [Est. Jul 2004 for SS 2005].

15: Mail order [Est. April 1999].  A partnership with mail order company 3 Suisses in which garments were sold through their catalogue in France and Benelux.4, 5, 6

22: A collection of shoes for women and men [FW 2005/6].  “[T]he Maison has had a small seasonal selection of women’s and men’s shoes as part of Line 1 and Line 10.  AW 2005-06 was the first time the shoes, for men and women, were all grouped within one collection, with its own structure and development plan.”  [Women’s – Mar. 1998], [Men’s – Jan. 2005].

Sartorial: a capsule collection part of Line 14, identifiable with gold embroidered cursive “Maison Martin Margiela” in the lining by the jacket pocket [FW 2008/9].

Replica: “Every season since 1994, Maison Martin Margiela has introduced a capsule collection within its men’s and women’s lines,^ including around thirty pieces of garments and accessories, called ‘Replica’.”  “These are existing garments, accessories and other articles that Maison Martin Margiela… prefers that they remain exactly as they were found.  They are lavishly reproduced and carry a second label explaining their origin, function and period.  The role of Maison Martin Margiela as designers is to ensure that the choice of fabric and the construction of these articles resemble the original as closely as possible.” “The ‘Replica’ concept derives from the notion of timelessness, and relies on the principle that these pieces have already proven the test of time. The idea was to design each garment so that they are as relevant for today as they will be tomorrow.”
^ [Ed. The Monograph specifies that “each season” since 1994, Lines 4 and 14 have contained Replica pieces.  The editor assumes that Replica pieces were first included in Lines 1 and 10 prior to the creation of Lines 4 and 14, which came four and six years, respectively, after Lines 4 and 14]

AIDS T-Shirt: “Created to generate funds for the French charity AIDES… changes in the color of fabric and typeface occur every season.”  The text of each shirt reads, “There is more action to be done to fight AIDS than to wear this T-shirt but it’s a good start.” [Est. FW 1994] [Ed.the post originally stated 2004. We regret the error]

*Unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained from the official Margiela timeline and glossary available on the official Maison Martin Margiela Facebook and the 20th Anniversary Monograph.7

 

School and Career Prior to the Maison

MMM reference 4 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference GuidePhoto Credit: MMM Official Facebook

Martin Margiela graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Fashion Department.  His graduation date is disputed.  The MMM 20th Anniversary Monograph timeline and the company Facebook profile state 1979.  However, an article in which the author claims she referenced Antwerp ModeMuseum (MoMu) documents on the designer puts his graduation at 1980.1  Regardless, years after his departure, Margiela was still remembered at the school.  A 1993 article noted that “[h]is cutting technique is legendary among his teachers.”2

He is strongly associated with the Antwerp Six, a group of six Belgian designers who graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in the early 1980’s.  They are Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee.  In 1988, the Six joined together, rented a large truck, and held an impromptu presentation at London Fashion Week3, 4 (and because nothing can be simple, the official website of Six member Walter Van Beirendonck indicates it occurred in 1987.5)  However, Margiela graduated ahead of the Six and did not participate in the 1988 show.  Rather, his association is due to so many Belgian designers emerging onto the fashion scene simultaneously, exerting great influence, and consequently establishing Antwerp with a worldwide fashion identity.6

The MoMu show centered around the Antwerp 6 was named “6+ Antwerp Fashion.”  The “+” recognized that many people were involved in putting Belgian design in the spotlight, but specifically Margiela “because he is often bracketed together with ‘The Six.’”7  Margiela and the Six cast a long shadow.  During a 1993 fashion department student assessment,* the jury was considering whether to grant Highest Honors to a student.  Jean Paul Gaultier, serving on that year’s jury stated, “‘What is this high honors… Look, Martin never had it. Dries [van Noten] never had it. Ann [Demeulemeester] never had it. Should he have what they never had?’… [N]one of the students was granted Highest Honors.”8
* Likely the end of year Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp Fashion Dept. graduation show.9,10

From 1984-1987, he served as a design assistant for Gaultier.  Gaultier initially rebuffed Margiela, recalling that he told Margiela “I told you how much I appreciated your work.  But since I was doing all my collections myself, I didn’t need an assistant of your caliber; it was not necessary for you to learn what you already knew; you had what it took to be number one and you could already have had fashion shows in Paris.”11

Maison Martin Margiela –

A Brief Business History of Martin Margiela’s Time at MMM

MMM reference 5 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide

Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

Maison Martin Margiela (MMM) was established in 1988 by Martin Margiela and Belgian retailer Jenny Meirens (it appears that she was also a designer.1).  Meirens had long supported the Belgian fashion establishment.  In 1982, she organized a press conference for young designers in her store in Brussels,2 and Margiela met Meirens “when she was organizing shows for Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garcons in Brussels.”3

Initially, MMM presented only women’s ready to wear collections, with its first show occurring during Paris Fashion Week SS 1989.4  Margiela was quickly given recognition.  In 1989, he was the first recipient of the ANDAM Award.5  The acronym translates to the National Association for the Development of the Fashion Arts and it is “the French equivalent of the Council of Fashion Designers of America prize.”6

From 1997-2003, Margiela was artistic director at Hermes while continuing to design for MMM7 (coincidentally, Gaultier would take over the Hermes position in 2003).  MMM men’s runway presentations were introduced in October 1998 for S/S 1999.8

In 2002, a majority stake of Maison Martin Margiela was acquired by Diesel founder/President Renzo Rosso (MMM was held as Neuf SAS and acquired through Rosso’s Italian holding group Only the Brave.9  OTB owns the brands like Diesel, 55DSL, Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf.10  OTB also owns Staff International S.p.A., a manufacturing and distribution arm with licensing agreements to produce Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Dsquared2, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs Men and Just Cavalli.10

In January 2006, MMM became a Correspondent Member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.  In May 2006, MMM showed its first haute couture collection using the “Artisanal” Line, a practice that continues to this day.12

In early 2009, rumors began to spread that Martin Margiela was no longer involved in the design process and was unhappy with the increasingly commercial direction Renzo Rosso was taking MMM.13  On December 9, 2009, MMM CEO Giovanni Pungetti officially confirmed that Martin Margiela was no longer at MMM and that no designer would be appointed to replace him.14  Rather, the existing design team would take the reins.  Eventually, Matthieu Blazy was appointed designer of couture and “Artisanal” but it is unclear exactly when, with rumors beginning in 2011.  Since leaving the Maison, Martin Margiela has maintained press silence and has shown no interest in returning to the fashion world.

Becoming a Luxury Company

“In 2002, a majority stake of Maison Martin Margiela was acquired by Diesel founder/President Renzo Rosso (MMM was held as Neuf SAS and acquired through Rosso’s Italian holding group Only the Brave. OTB owns the brands like Diesel, 55DSL, Maison Martin Margiela and Viktor & Rolf. OTB also owns Staff International S.p.A., a manufacturing and distribution arm with licensing agreements to produce Maison Martin Margiela, Viktor & Rolf, Dsquared2, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs Men and Just Cavalli.”1

Very few articles directly covered OTB’s takeover or the aftermath, but those that did pointed to a single motive: MMM was struggling financially. The market was also not in MMM’s favor, as the New York Times noted in 2005 that small luxury labels at the time, like MMM, were “losing market share, particularly with the shrinking of multi-brand boutiques.”2 And in a 2008 article about Belgian brands, the Wall Street Journal noted the Belgian houses in particular, “still need to work out is how to adjust their production and logistics to sustain growing sales.”3

Statements by Mr. Rosso and Mr. Pungetti support these claims. In 2004, Mr. Rosso stated, “In the two years that we’ve spent together, we’ve cleared the situation. The company wasn’t in such good shape. It was run like a family. Now it’s organized…”4 Additionally, OTB undertook “consolidation of logistics and production in Italy, the recruiting of a team of nine designers to assist Margiela, and new sales and marketing people,” and hiring Giovanni Pungetti as CEO of MMM.5 Mr. Pungetti recalled that before these changes, MMM was “stagnant and unprofitable.”6 Mr. Pungetti is credited for moving production from France to Italy and ordering a round of layoffs.7

Mr. Rosso and Mr. Pungetti were very open about their commercial aims for MMM. In 2004, Mr. Rosso told WWD that in three years he wanted to increase sales from €30m to €60m, and that to accomplish that he would, besides the aforementioned changes, open shops in New York City and Milan, possibly pursue lines for perfume, sunglasses, leather goods, and shoes, and attempt to get more product to VIP’s.8 He stated that all of the changes that MMM had undergone signaled a “new start” for the brand, and that while he did not want to “destroy the heart, the passion of the house,” they would have to “analyze the brand.”9 And the interview itself signaled something new: Rosso stated that MMM would not advertise but, “the company will communicate more aggressively.”10

In 2011, Mr. Pungetti told Business of Fashion, “I remember having a conversation with the team and Martin, and I said, ‘Listen guys you do beautiful things, but nobody sees this, so let’s try and show what you are able to do.’ At the time, they didn’t want to be too visible, because the idea was that more visible they were, the less cool they were. For me, this was the key mistake in the company at this time, thinking that only by being invisible could [they] have been successful. This is not true.”11

Timeline of Expansion and Selected Projects since OTB’s Acquisition

  • 2002, Jul: MMM/Neuf SAS sells its majority stake to Only the Brave, an Italian holding company owned by Diesel founder/President Renzo Rosso.
  • 2003, Oct: Line 4 – a wardrobe for women, introduced for SS 2004
  • 2004, Jun: Line 6, women’s diffusion, rebranded to mm6.
  • 2004, Jul: Line 14 – a wardrobe for men, introduced for SS 2005
  • 2005, Jan: Line 11 – a collection of accessories for women and men.
  • 2005, Jan: Line 22 – a collection of shoes for women and men officially introduced for FW 2005/6.  Previously, small selections of footwear were released with Lines 1 and 10.
  • 2006, May: MMM presents its Haute Couture show during SS 2006, using “Artisanal” Line 0 pieces.
  • 2007, Oct: Line 8 – eyewear collection.
  • 2008: 20th Anniversary celebrations for MMM take place.
  • 2008: Sartorial Collection, a capsule collection in Line 14, introduced for FW 2008/9.
  • 2008: One of six designers to create a custom car cover for Intersection Magazine, (released early 2008, exact date unknown).^
  • 2008, Mar: Line 1 separated from “Défilé (runway)” and given separate tags.
  • 2008, Jul: Line 12 – a collection of fine jewelry.
  • 2009, Apr: Home line announced, including “wallpaper, bookshelves, lamps and carpets.” This stands separately from Line 13, and is not given a number.  Furniture also included. See links for press release and substantial pictures.12, 13
    • The Dec 2008 Redesign of the the Elle Decoration Suite at the Cite de L’Architecture in Paris, France is cited as the likely inspiration for the Home Line. Elle invites designers in to redesign the suite, the former apartment of Jacques Carlu, the architect who designed the Palais Chaillot.14, 15, 16
    • Redesigned the Ile aux Oiseaux suite at Les Sources des Caudalie [first open to the public mid December 2009]17, 18
    • Redesigned the “suites, a restaurant, a smoking room, a bar and a reception area” at La Maison Champs Elysées in Paris, France. [July 2011]
  • 2009, Nov: MMM sells Artisanal pieces on Yoox.
  • 2009, Dec 9: MMM officially confirms that Martin Margiela left MMM and the current design team would take over artistic direction rather than hiring a new head designer.
  • 2010, Jan: Line 3 – fragrances in association with L’Oreal; launches with unisex Fragrance “Untitled”
  • 2010, Oct: E-Boutique Launches
  • 2011, Aug: MM6 x Opening Ceremony collaboration
  • 2012, May: Line 3 expands with a second offering, a set of three fragrances called “Replica” (http://www.style.com/beauty/beautycounter/2012/05/maison-martin-margiela-to-release-replica-the-fragrance-line-rihanna-gets-dreads-and-more/)
  • 2012, Jun 12: H&M x MMM confirmed
  • 2012, Nov 19: H&M x MMM launches

*Unless otherwise noted, all information was obtained from the official Margiela timeline and glossary available on the official Maison Martin Margiela Facebook and the 20th Anniversary Monograph.19

Revenue/Sales Timeline since OTB’s Acquisition
(Reported in major publications, not official financial releases)

  • 2002
    • €15m* 20, 21
    • *It should be noted that a 2005 New York Times article cited €24m, but a later New York Times article and an interview with CEO Giovanni Pungetti in 201122 both cite €15m.
  • 2004
    • €30m ($40 mil. at 2004 conversion)
    •  “…plans to double sales to 60 million euros, or $80 million at current exchange rates, in three years”23, 24
  • 2007
    • €60m
    • CEO Giovanni Pungetti states that 2007 made MMM “profitable for the first time since the acquisition.”25
  • 2008
    • 21% increase in sales reported26
    • $80 mil (reported in dollars, with no Euro conversion)27
  • 2009
    • December 2009 article reports €70m ($105 mil) in sales estimated for the fiscal year. NYTimes He’s Gone
  • 2009-10
    • 10% increase in sales28
  • 2011
    • Mr. Pungetti estimates “€75m in turnover” in a September 2011 interview.29

It is unclear how much of this expansion Martin Margiela wanted for MMM. The timeline doesn’t just show expansion, it shows selected individual projects as well. It is entirely plausible that, as Mr. Rosso’s quote indicated, OTB’s money provided Mr. Margiela with the time and resources to try things that would never have been possible on his own (why wouldn’t he want to decorate a hotel suite in white and trompe l’oeil details?). It is also very plausible that the Line expansions that followed just after OTB’s takeover were conceptualized or already in the works before OTB appeared.

The Departure of Martin Margiela

Despite its many philosophical trappings, the Maison always seemed to have firm footing in reality. It had conducted itself as a luxury brand before OTB’s involvement. Multiple times dating back to 1997, the Maison stated very clearly that “Fashion is a craft, a technical know-how and not an art.”1 They acknowledged that they were in a business that is constrained by luxury fashion’s seasonal system, the shape of the human body, industrial production, and distribution chains.2 Regardless, confidential sources and rumors began to indicate that Martin Margiela was unhappy with the increasingly commercial direction OTB was taking MMM.

Rumors of Martin Margiela’s impending departure likely began in early 2008, when he reportedly met with Raf Simons, “who was renegotiating his contract with Jil Sander at the time.”3 There were also conflicting reports about Mr. Margiela’s involvement in the brand late in his career. In September 2008, a week before Fashion Week, Renzo Rosso stated, “We are very happy with Martin but for a long time he has a strong team and does not work on the collection, just on special projects.”4 Giovanni Pungetti, speaking in 2011 about Martin Margiela’s exit, echoed Rosso stating, “[Martin’s] departure was progressive and did not happen from one day to the next. He was very good in delegating. At the time I started at the company, he was also designing for Hermès. He had three days a week at Hermès – and this was for five years. After the contract with Hermès, his attitude didn’t change. He was not so present in the company and was very, very good in delegating and making people grow behind his vision.”5

But refuting Rosso and Pungetti, “colleagues of the Belgian designer and those who have been close to him during the creation of a current exhibition of his work in Antwerp, Belgium, insist that is misrepresentation and that [Martin] Margiela is totally involved with every detail in the house that he built.”6 Because Mr. Margiela never commented, there is only speculation that “Mr. Margiela had fallen out with Renzo Rosso” for commercial reasons.7

On October 3, 2009, Mr. Rosso unceremoniously announced Martin Margiela’s exit, stating, “Martin has not been there for a long time… He is here but not here. We have a new fresh design team on board. We are focusing on young, realistic energy for the future; this is really Margiela for the year 2015.”8 On December 8, 2009, Mr. Pungetti officially confirmed Martin Margiela’s exit and indicated that the design team would take over instead of naming another head designer.9 Much later, Mr. Pungetti would later clarify that Mr. Margiela’s “right hand, [who] worked with him for 20 years, is leading the team today.”10 WWD reported that sources said that at the time, Mr. Margiela “recently poured creative energies into painting and wished to walk away from the fashion business.”11

Martin Margiela has chosen to remain anonymous since his departure.

Conceptual Hallmarks and Themes

MMM reference 6 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference GuidePhoto Credit: Marcio Madeira/Zeppelin Photos, via N.Y. Times

Anonymity
For a designer with considerable influence, sometimes credited with shifting the entire fashion world against 80’s excesses into 90’s grunge, it is ironic that headlines and articles documenting Martin Margiela’s enduring legacy almost always include the word “invisible.”  It is a testament to how truly against the grain it is for a designer to refuse the spotlight, and served as the fundamental basis for MMM’s presentations, shows, collections, and marketing.

The Maison best summarized the philosophical underpinnings of designer anonymity: “We try to have people accept the fact that the work of the Maison Martin Margiela can exist independently of what the designer looks like-that our work is solely a proposition of wearing what it is we like to create, a presentation of a way in which we see things at a given moment. Martin Margiela decided not to appear in the public eye for that reason. He wants the light not to be on him but on what really matters-the clothes, the philosophy, the Maison, the team… but he decided to step away, to let the garments and the Maison speak for him, for his love of what he does, and for the respect he has for his team”1

      • A Reaction Against the Star System, Clothing First and Foremost
        MMM reference 7 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
        Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook
      • Anonymity, as defined by the official Glossary, is “A reaction against the ubiquitous star system, the desire to let the ideas do the talking.  The product is at the centre of everything.”
      • “What our designer looks like has, for us, little or nothing to do with this process. We prefer that people react to a garment through their taste and own personal style and not their impression of the individual and group of people who created it as translated and hyped by the press. Unlike actors or singers we do not need any physical form to express our work.”2
      • Democratic design
        MMM reference 8 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
        Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook
      • As noted above, the concept of “the team,” and acknowledging that the design process is a collective process has been a part of MMM since its inception.  Interviews with the “designer” always use collective terms like “we” and “us”; never “I.”  Martin, even when he was still a part of the house, was referred to as if he was not speaking.3
        • “[A]nyone employed by Maison Martin Margiela wears a white coat – either the long version usually used by models between fittings, or the shorter design” worn by sales associates at stores.4  The Maison says that it is  “[a] symbol of belonging to the house of Margiela, a rejection of hierarchy, a nod to the haute couture ateliers of yesteryear.”5 It elaborated in another interview, “Everyone has a role within the team, but everyone also has a voice within that team… This is one of the reasons why Martin never appeared publicly, as we all know that if he would have, the light would have been on him, and without him in the light, the message would be different: the work is the collaboration of a team and not just about one single individual.”6
      • Despite having many unique overriding themes for its runway collections, philosophically, the Maison believes that the wearer defines what their designs mean.  In one interview, the Maison was asked what they believed their designs meant in relation to art, sex, and the company’s expansion.  Each time, the response was that the Maison does not provide “interpretation” for their work.6
      • The concept of democratic design extends to the consumer as well.  “From our point of view we have always paid particular attention to designing for as large a cross section of women and men as possible. We are lucky in that so many people of different ages, shapes, social role and background are following our work!”7
      • The Press
        MMM reference 9 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
        Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

        • The Maison states that there is “[n]ot one published portrait of the designer” and “no personal interviews.”8  The statements are an explicit reference to Martin Margiela’s notoriously hidden persona, and an extension of that persona to the design team.  Both of those statements are generally true – but not entirely.
        • The New York Times prominently features a photo of Martin Margiela on its page dedicated to the designer.9  There is also a backstage photo online in which a man of extremely similar appearance wears an Iggy Pop t-shirt; an identical version of this shirt would end up on the runway in FW 1990/1.10  Documentary footage of a 1992 runway finale shows Margiela and group of people (presumably the design team) celebrating on the runway.11  For the SS 1994 show, Margiela stood on the runway wearing a white lab coat and rang a bell as a sort of “Pavlovian” signal to the models.12  Eventually he would stop appearing on the runway – or at all.
        • As for press interviews, it is possible to find statements from Martin Margiela, but it is certainly uncommon.  This editor found about five or six short statements to the press.  The latest statement occurred in 1997, when he gave a brief statement regarding his new position as Artistic Director for Hermes.13  The other statements are also brief and are all from the early 90’s.  He once appeared briefly in the aforementioned documentary, shown working with Gaultier, and there is a glimpse of him on the runway for the finale.  At some point in 1993, he allowed a New York Times reporter into his Paris workroom and gave a few statements about his philosophy and his past.14  The documentary and the 1993 workroom statements are the closest Martin Margiela came to giving a full interview.  Given his countenance in the photos, and the fact that he does not sit in front of the camera in the documentary, it is fair to say that Martin Margiela never truly engaged the press.
        • Since Martin Margiela’s retirement, no member of the Margiela design team has stepped forward to speak for the team or  posed for a picture in an official capacity.  “Artisanal”/Couture designer Blazy has since likely been confirmed in his role, and while pictures of him exist, it is unclear if any stem from his time at MMM.

Beyond the philosophical reasons stated, there were practical concerns for anonymity and physical manifestations of the philosophy that have become well-known:

          • Any Publicity…
            MMM reference 10 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
            Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

            • Margiela’s time working for Gaultier made anonymity a practical concern. It was reported in The Independent’s MMM SS 1993 review, that Gaultier suspected his role as a presenter on the TV show Eurotrash had been problematic for him 15. The same writer noted again in 2008 that Gaultier told the press that he was passed for a job at Dior in 1997 “because of his less- than-haute role as the kilt-and-Breton-T-shirt-wearing presenter of Eurotrash.”16
          • Marketing
            MMM reference 11 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
            Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

            • Susannah Frankel, whom the Maison describes as “one of the most authoritative voices on the Maison’s history and role in fashion,” stated that “[t]he single most significant idea that drives this brand is, perhaps, its anti-marketing stance.”17a But that statement is far too reductive. A Margiela devotee better assesses the situation using more general terms, seeing “an arch noncorporate anti-brander… whose operation is actually branded through and through, from the whitewashed walls and secondhand furniture of his shops to the lab coats of his staff and the white canvas shopping bags, right down to the cotton envelopes into which his press communiques are stitched.”17b
            • “A sense of invisibility has been incorporated into the DNA of the brand since the beginning. Patrick Scallon, the right hand person to Margiela once characterised the marketing strategy of Margiela as “absence equals presence” and “the cult of impersonality,” indicating that it was a central part of the brand identity.” “As the brand became successful in the mid-90s, Martin Margiela retired completely from public view, at a time when the idea of the invisible designer found itself at odds the accelerated rise of celebrity culture. As other designers chose – or were required to become – famous; Margiela’s anonymity became louder than ever. And ironically, his invisibility became exponentially interesting to the media. No article was written without some reference to his invisibility. It was part of the appeal, it defined the brand. But the clothes still dominated.”17c
          • White
            • Clothing as a Blank Canvas

              • White is anonymous for MMM because conceptually, it can be seen as undefined. The Maison says white is “[n]eutral, the binary opposite of black, or a blank canvas.”18 White is “evidence of option, an option of expression, be that ours or that of those who choose to wear the clothes we propose.”19 The Maison also uses white to connect back to the concept of democratic design. As noted above, all MMM design team and sales assistants wear white coats, thus white serves as “[a] symbol of belonging to the house of Margiela, a rejection of hierarchy, a nod to the haute couture ateliers of yesteryear.”20 White also connects the consumer to the brand through (yet another) contradiction. White is never really a blank canvas. When worn normally in public, white clothing’s bright, loud neutrality can be just as declarative as The Maison’s choice to remain anonymous to the press.  And, as the the Maison itself notes, it serves as a way to connect people to the brand.
            • The Passage of Time; History
              MMM reference 13 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: Antonioli

              • White also connects to another important conceptual touchstone for the Maison: specifically history and the passage of time. The FW 2003 collection main color was yellow. MMM issued the statement, “The yellowing associated with the ageing of [white] fabrics over time provides the dominant colour palatte.”21 Fashion historian, sociologist, and Director of the Tate Modern, Chris Dercon corresponded with MMM and was told “white signifies ‘the power of fragility, especially the fragility of passing time… passing time leaves traces on a white surface.’” Dercon also notes a fundamental contradiction: the passage of time leaves unique marks, thus “[w]hite is therefore in no way neutral or anonymous.”22  In a simpler gesture, the white coats worn by employees of MMM are “a nod to the haute couture ateliers of yesteryear.”23 
              • For more information on the Maison’s relationship with history, see the section “Deconstruction, Fashion History, and Recycling Clothes” below.
            • Practical Concerns
              MMM reference 12 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

              • The color white has been a major component of MMM since its inception. At the first headquarters, “walls and furniture are painted in white or covered in white cotton.” This held a dual purpose: “‘When Jenny [Meirens] and Martin started out, they collected furniture from all over the place, from the street, from flea markets, from stores all over the world,’ says a spokesperson for the house. ‘They had no money and it was all in different styles, so to make it seem coherent it was all painted white.’”24
            • The Tags
              MMM reference 14 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

              • “The four white stitches only appear on unlined garments. They were devised so as to, realistically and ideally, offer the option to those confronting the garments for the first time to react to their form and energy, and not just the idea of “brand” as expressed via a label.”25
              • The tag was originally only a plain white, unmarked cloth rectangle held at the nape of the neck by a single white basting stitch in each corner that were visible from the outside. The current label, with 0-23 listed, and a circle indicating which Line the garment belongs to, was introduced in May 1997 {Ref: Book}. The plain label (shown above) is still used for runway items.
              • “What most people consider as our logo – the four stitches in the back with the white label inside the garment – had in fact the opposite purpose: it was meant to be cut off so the garment would be without a label and logo!”26 It is now a well known luxury marking.
              • For more on how tags relate to the Maison’s interest in fashion history and recycling clothes, see “Artisanal” and “Replica” information in Lines (above) and the next section.

Deconstruction, Fashion History, and Recycling Clothes

        • Deconstructionist
          • Throughout the 90’s to early 00’s, the most common general description of Margiela’s designs was “Deconstructionist.” “The term first described a movement in literary analysis in the mid-20th century, founded by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida. It was a backlash against staid literary analysis, arguing that no work can have a fixed meaning, based on the complexity of language and usage.”27  Within fashion, it is taking traditional designs or existing articles of clothing and finding ways to redefine the “function of the piece itself.” In simpler terms used by the Maison itself, “to take an existing form and to rework it.”28  Designers associated with Deconstructionism include Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons, Jun Takahashi of Undercover, and Ann Demeulemeester. In keeping with the theme of anonymity and its refusal to define its designs, the Maison has never described itself as “Deconstructionist”29 and “Margiela himself resisted the moniker.”30  However, this is mostly semantic.  With the “Artisanal” Line, “Replica,” and statements describing how the designs are inspired, Margiela has earned his place in the Deconstructionist pantheon.
            • Interest in Fashion History
              MMM reference 15 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: Anders Edström via MMK Frankfurt

              • Deconstruction, recycling, Replica, and “Artisanal” all imply an interest in fashion history, and reviewers took note.  “Mr. Margiela has the same respect for old clothes that a medical examiner has for a cadaver.”31  Martin Margiela confirmed this interest, stating, “‘I’m interested in the entire culture of fashion,’ he said. ‘But I’m not interested in taking one moment of history and copying it.’”
              • The reporter, granted access to the Margiela workroom, noted that Margiela was also interested in his own history, “he does have an archive, a plankboard closet stuffed with clothes: the severed sleeves from his first season, each tiny button at the medieval cuffs unique. The jacket that is now his signature, with its tidy puckered sleeve molded to the shoulder. The first crisp cotton shirt tied with linen laces. His history is stored in boxes of photos, meticulously marked with the year and season.”32 The article was released in July 1993 and the reporter may well have been seeing the nascent stages of the next collection: in October 1993, Margiela’s runway show was a retrospective of pieces from his entire career up to that point, dyed grey, with the season represented stenciled on the models’ necks.33
            • Recycling/Vintage
              MMM reference 16 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

              • The Maison’s official Glossary definition of Recycling: “The desire to give a garment a second life, with old and new accessories to update it, to reconstruct it, to make a clean break from previous associations. ‘Replica’ clothes: exact reproductions of styles from various eras.”34 Critics long recognized this, calling Martin Margiela “the grandfather of recycling” in 1992.35  He stated, “I like to collect old clothes and give them another life. When they are lying there, they are dead.”36
            • Replica Line
              MMM reference 17 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

              • “Every season since 1994, Maison Martin Margiela has introduced a capsule collection within its men’s and women’s lines, including around thirty pieces of garments and accessories, called ‘Replica’. The ‘Replica’ pieces represent the Maison’s interest in highly functional and emotive garments and accessories. The character and charm of these pieces, which are hand-picked throughout the world, are preserved. The ‘Replicas’ are meticulously reproduced and each piece features a special label inside describing the source and period of the original item. The ‘Replica’ concept derives from the notion of timelessness, and relies on the principle that these pieces have already proven the test of time. The idea was to design each garment so that they are as relevant for today as they will be tomorrow. This collection strongly reflects the Maison’s passion and craft for the creative processes involved in designing its garments and accessories and more generally, it exemplifies the Maison’s artistic expression.” Each replica piece comes with a special tag listing Style description, Provenance, and Period.37
            • “Artisanal” Line
              MMM reference 18 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
              Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

              • “Since its beginnings in 1988, Maison Martin Margiela has been gathering garments, accessories, used and sometimes new objects across the globe. That these garments and objects may be given a second life whilst respecting and maintaining the traces of the passage of time and use remains one of the keystones of the creative expression of the Maison. Each garment is reworked entirely by hand in the atelier of the Maison in Paris. The complexity and specificity of each step of such a creative process of transformation will naturally limit the quantity of garments produced. The individuality of the materials used to create each garment ensures that each is as unique as that which was used to create it. The label, numbered 0, is sewn, embossed or stamped depending on the material used to create the garment or accessory.” “Artisanal” pieces are now shown as haute couture collections.38
            • For more on “Replica” and “Artisanal,” see the Line descriptions above, or simply do a page search – they are a common topic that hit many areas.

Tailoring
MMM reference 19 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
Photo Credit: MMM Official Facebook

      • Margiela’s attention to tailoring and construction has always been apparent. As noted above, “his cutting technique… [was] legendary among his teachers” even years after his graduation.39 A FW 1992 runway review noted, “Mr. Margiela has evolved into a master of cut without abandoning his Deconstructivist roots.”40 Reviewing the first men’s collection, Mark Holgate, then Senior Fashion Writer and now Fashion News Director of Vogue, noted, “It is time-honoured tailoring and finishing skills that seem to excite Margiela. His ‘suits’ comprise of mismatched jackets and trousers, with the kind of quality linings and touches that are more usually associated with Savile Row workmanship.”41 Assessing Margiela’s work as a whole, “[h]is clothes are special because of the attention to detail. He thinks about everything, the cuff of a jacket, the construction of an armhole, the height of a shoulder. I think it’s very much about cut, proportion and shape, the simplicity of it.”42
      • MMM has referenced construction and tailoring throughout its history. The Deconstrutionist approach and the “Artisanal” and “Replica” lines are manifestations of the an extreme attention to construction. Some runway shows also reference the creation process: “AW 1997-98 _ The collection was composed of outfits and objects that traced the stages of garment production.”43
      • MMM continues to tout its emphasis on tailoring.  Speaking about the creation of wardrobe/basics Line 4 and 14, “Extra care and craft have been attributed to construction, fit, choice of fabrics, hand-finishing and to the perfection of the interior and exterior detailing of all of its garments.”44

Trompe-l’oeil
MMM reference 20 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide
Photo Credit: Maison Champs-Elysées hotel

      • “A game, material or shape that tricks the eye. In clothes: a fluid fabrics patterned like a loose knits, a flesh-coloured bodysuit simulating nudity, etc. For accessories: a bundle of American dollars held together by a rubber band becomes a wallet, etc. In architecture: life-size black and white photos that cover the walls, floors or ceilings of Maison Martin Margiela stores, etc.”45 Trompe-l’oeil is an extremely common feature of MMM clothing and accessories and there are countless examples of it throughout the line’s history.

 

Legacy

MMM reference 21 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference GuidePhoto Credit: A Shaded View on Fashion

Consumer Devotion

      • Style.com described Margiela consumers as “acolytes.”1 Lucian James, luxury brand strategist for Agenda Inc., referred to the brand as a cult with disciples and proceeded to write a brief marketing plan for MMM based on cult principles.2 The brand received the unusual honor of being included in “Happy Victims,” a book documenting people who have become wholly consumed with one fashion brand. And upon Martin Margiela’s retirement, a single collector put up an archive of around 1,000 MMM pieces for sale.3 The Margiela devotee may find any number of things appealing. The brand is luxury, but seen only by those who recognize the code. Intelligent in concept and meticulous in execution, but unpretentious in presentation. Often plain, but not boring. Critically adored, and now often the subject of conversation, but rarely of understanding. It is a brand that, through its many contradictions and stalwart (branded) anonymity, the devotee can define for themselves.
      • A Vogue article titled, “Margiela Be Mine” summarizes the cultish devotion Margiela engenders. The devotee normally abhors designer labels or the need for belonging based on clothing, or any other reason, but still feels that Margiela’s clothes are a part of their identity. The devotee requires “straight, chic clothes of unidentifiable provenance” that are “unusual, witty, or sexy (though always at a visual frequency conventional people can’t pick up.)” The clothes are still eye-catching in a way that the outside viewer can’t explain and it is edifying to the wearer when they are asked who designed their clothing – and it is just as edifying when the person asking has no idea who “Margiela” is. “Wearing Margiela can bestow a satisfying cleverness upon you,” because the designs seem to be “three, four seasons” ahead of time, and by the time it is the dominant design, it is no longer available. The “Replica” line might just be copies, but the choices of what to copy is a sign of the Maison’s impeccable taste. The Maison’s “recycling” bent places them in a long artistic tradition “from the Surrealists, Dadaists, and Junk artists.” But in the end it seems just as important that “[b]ecause he’s so impersonal his clothes become personal to you.”4

Designer Quotes

      • “We appropriate, we do some vintage… Individual vision no longer exists. Margiela is the last one.”5 – Azzedine Alaia
      • “I’ve never denied how influenced I am by Margiela or by Rei Kawakubo, those are people that inspire my work. I don’t hide that. Everyone is influenced by Comme des Garçons and by Martin Margiela. Anybody who’s aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by those designers.”6 – Marc Jacobs, 2007, on accusations of copying.
      • “Helmut (Lang) and Martin have had a big impact on me”7 – Raf Simons, 2009, on being asked if he may replace Martin Margiela at MMM.
      • “When you meet the person you have admired for so many years, how can you possibly replace him? Sometimes it’s better never to meet your heroes.”8 – Haider Ackerman, 2009, on being asked if he may replace Martin Margiela at MMM.

Art and Museum Exhibitions

  • Art?
    • Maison Martin Margiela has been the subject of, and participant in, dozens, if not hundreds of museum exhibits. For the MMM 20th anniversary exhibit at the Antwerp ModeMuseum, Martin Margiela told curator Kaat Debo, “You are the curator. Propose me your concept.”1 This, and the Maison’s repeated insistence that their work is not art, is perfectly in line with refusal define their work. Since at least 1999,2 the Maison has consistently articulated why they believe their work is not art: it is a craft dictated by the fashion show system. And in a surprisingly candid series of correspondences with Malcolm McLaren, the Maison stated, “Like many creative ideas, it is not necessarily the originality of the premise that is important or defines its ‘art’ but the means and purity of its expression.”3Fashion, as a business, seems to preclude itself from this definition of art.
      • “We prefer not to interpret our work, preferring to leave that up to others better placed to place our work in an overall context. We all have work that we love, though, possibly regrettably, as a team we have no real connection to the Art world. Fashion is a craft, a technical know-how and not an art. Each world shares an expression through creativity though through very divergent media and processes.”4
      • “To our mind the work of a fashion designer is so different from that of an artist! We usually work in a necessarily more collaborative manner. We present our work twice a year, using the same medium, respecting the same human form, within an industrial framework, using industrial means of production, and having our work translated through the chain of distribution for our work. Artists are freer to determine the medium with which they choose to express themselves, the intervals at which they present their work, the means by which they produce their expression, as well as the way in which it is sold.”5
  • Online Archives
  • Conclusion

    MMM reference 22 The Maison Martin Margiela Reference GuidePhoto Credit: MMM Official Facebook

    Citations and Credits

    Current Status / Timeline

    1. Filep Motwary, LA CAMBRE MODE(S) SHOW 2012 BRUSSELS / PHOTOS BY FILEP MOTWARY, Un Nouveau Ideal (June 9, 2012), http://www.filepmotwary.com/motwary/2012/06/la-cambre-modes-show-2012-brussels-photos-by-filep-motwary.html.
    2. Constance C.R. White, Patterns: Margiela Joines Hermes, N.Y. Times (April 29, 1997), http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/29/style/patterns-842540.html.
    3. AFP-Relaxnews, Two more luxury labels launch e-boutiques, The Independent (October 14, 2010) http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/two-more-luxury-labels-launch-eboutiques-2106611.html.
    4. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009.

    Lines

    1. Filep Motwary, INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, Un Nouveau Ideal (June 29, 2010)http://www.filepmotwary.com/motwary/2010/06/interview-maison-martin-margiela-in-a-conversation-with-filep-motwary.html.
    2. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela, (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009, 192-3.
    3. Correspondence btw Malcolm Mclaren and Maison Martin Margiela, Has Anybody Seen My Old Friend Martin?, N.Y. Times T Magazine (March 13, 2005), https://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/style/tmagazine/TM1502150.html.
    4. Martin Margiela, ModeFix (April 25, 2009) http://fr.modefix.com/createurs/108527.html.
    5. Who’s Who?, Prevalent Style; http://www.prevalentstyle.com/?page_id=269.
    6. Simon Chilvers, Martin Margiela and H&M: extreme fashion heads for the high street, The Guardian (October 24, 2012) http://www.guardian.co.uk/fashion/2012/oct/24/martin-margiela-hm-extreme-fashion.
    7. Maison Martin Margiela, see Footnote 2 in Lines.”

    School and Career Prior to the Maison

    1. Johanna Agerman, Martin Margiela, iconeye (April 2009) http://www.iconeye.com/read-previous-issues/icon-070-|-april-2009/martin-margiela.
    2. Amy M. Spindler, Coming Apart, N.Y. Times (July 25, 1993) http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/25/style/coming-apart.html.
    3. 6+ Antwerp Fashion, Catalogue, http://www.provant.be/en/binaries/6%2B%20antwerp%20fashion_LEAFLET%20PRESS_ENG_tcm10-102589.pdf; Catalogue and exposition for the exhibit at the Flemish Parliament, 25 January – 23 June 2007.
    4. Imran Amed, The Antwerp Academy: The Enduring Legacy of the Antwerp Six, The Business of Fashion (June 23, 2009), http://www.businessoffashion.com/2009/06/the-antwerp-academy-the-enduring-legacy-of-the-antwerp-six.html.
    5. Walter Van Beirendonck, Fact File, Official Site http://www.waltervanbeirendonck.com/HTML/home.html?/HTML/CV/cv.html&1.
    6. 6+ Antwerp Fashion, see footnote 3.
    7. 6+ Antwerp Fashion, see footnote 3.
    8. Coming Apart, see footnote 2.
    9. Fashion Department, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Shows, http://www.antwerp-fashion.be/shows.html.
    10. Dan Thawley, Raf Simons Does Jury Duty, Interview (June 18, 2012) http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/antwerp-show-2012#_.
    11. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009.

    A Brief Business History

    1. Jennifer Merin, Working-Class Neighborhood Offers Chic Shops, L.A. Times (September 17, 1989) http://articles.latimes.com/1989-09-17/travel/tr-58_1_chic-shopping.
    2. 6+ Antwerp Fashion, Catalogue, http://www.provant.be/en/binaries/6%2B%20antwerp%20fashion_LEAFLET%20PRESS_ENG_tcm10-102589.pdf; Catalogue and exposition for the exhibit at the Flemish Parliament, 25 January – 23 June 2007.
    3. Amy M. Spindler, Coming Apart, N.Y. Times (July 25, 1993) http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/25/style/coming-apart.html.
    4. Official Timeline
    5. ANDAM Official Site, Archive of Winners, http://andam.fr/archives/
    6. Jessica Michault, Honors from a French Jury, N.Y. Times On the Runway Blog (June 30, 2011) http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/30/honors-from-a-french-jury/.
    7. Official Timeline, see footnote 4.
    8. Official Timeline, see footnote 4.
    9. Official Timeline, see footnote 4.
    10. Only the Brave Foundation, Who We Are, www.otbfoundation.org/who_we_are.
    11. Staff International, History, http://www.staffinternational.com/?p=191.
    12. Official Timeline, see footnote 4.
    13. Godfrey Deeny, Martin Margiela Leaves the Company He Founded, Fashion Wire Daily (December 9, 2009), http://fashionwiredaily.com/first_word/news/article.weml?id=2961.
    14. Miles Socha, Margiela Exits Margiela, WWD (December 9, 2009).

    Becoming a Luxury Company

    1. For cites see The Maison Martin Margiela Reference Guide (June 9, 2012), here.
    2. Suzy Menkes, Class act: Margiela moves up a grade, International Herald Tribune (January 11, 2005), https://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/10/style/10iht-fmartin.html?_r=0.
    3. Christina Passariello, Antwerp’s Fashion Rebels Get Serious About Business , The Wall Street Journal (September 26, 2008), http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122236927604575907.html.
    4. Robert Murphy, Getting Down to Business at Margiela, Women’s Wear Daily (December 29, 2004), http://www.wwd.com/retail-news/retail-features/getting-down-to-business-at-margiela-588980?full=true.
    5. Getting Down to Business at Margiela, see footnote 4.
    6. Antwerp’s Fashion Rebels Get Serious About Business , see footnote 3.
    7. Antwerp’s Fashion Rebels Get Serious About Business , see footnote 3.
    8. Getting Down to Business at Margiela, see footnote 4.
    9. Getting Down to Business at Margiela, see footnote 4.
    10. Getting Down to Business at Margiela, see footnote 4.
    11. Imran Amed, CEO Talk | Giovanni Pungetti, Chief Executive Officer, Maison Martin Margiela, Business of Fashion (September 29, 2011), http://www.businessoffashion.com/2011/09/ceo-talk-giovanni-pungetti-chief-executive-officer-maison-martin-margiela.html.
    12. Luisa Zargani, Maison Margiela Launches Home Line, Women’s Wear Daily (April 21, 2009), http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/fashion-scoops/maison-margiela-launches-home-line-2110311?src=nl/mornReport/20090422#.
    ^. Intersection Magazine, Car Covers, Intersection Magazine Spring 2008 Style Special (Publication Date Unknown), http://www.intersectionmagazine.com/carcovers/.
    13. Press Release from Maison Martin Margiela, Yatzer (April 23, 2009), http://www.yatzer.com/Maison-Martin-Margiela-Mat-Satine-Brillant.
    14. Emilie Pyard and Charles Grémion, Suite ELLE Décoration: visite guidée avec la Maison Martin Margiela, Elle TV France (December 17, 2008), http://videos.elle.fr/video.php?video=iLyROoafzcff.
    15. Emmanuelle Javell, Philippe Trétiack, and Marie-Pierre Morel, Carte blanche à la Maison Martin Margiela , Elle France, http://www.elle.fr/Deco/Les-visites-privees/Toutes-les-visites-privees/Carte-blanche-a-la-Maison-Martin-Margiela.
    16. Lillian Davies, In Suite with Maison Margiela, ArtSlant Paris (August 13, 2009), http://www.artslant.com/par/articles/show/9319.
    17. Press Release from Maison Martin Margiela, Luxury Hospitality Daily (December 1, 2009), http://www.luxury-hospitality-daily.com/index.php?id_actu=26624&home=actu_detail.php.
    18. Christine Muhlke, Now Booking: Martin Margiela’s Suite Hereafter, N.Y. Times T Magazine (December 23, 2009), http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/now-booking-martin-margielas-suite-hereafter/.
    19. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009.
    20. CEO Talk | Giovanni Pungetti, Chief Executive Officer, Maison Martin Margiela, see footnote 11.
    21. Suzy Menkes, Martin Margiela to Leave Fashion House He Founded , N.Y. Times (December 8, 2009), https://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/09/business/global/09diesel.html?ref=martinmargiela&_r=0.
    22. Class act: Margiela moves up a grade, see footnote 2.
    23. Getting Down to Business at Margiela, see footnote 4.
    24. Class act: Margiela moves up a grade, see footnote 2.
    25. Miles Socha, Art Versus Commerce: Can Margiela Expand Without Selling Out?, Women’s Wear Daily (May 2, 2008), http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/art-versus-commerce-can-margiela-expand-without-selling-out-455630.
    26. Lauren Milligan, Margiela MIA?, Vogue UK (March 5, 2009), http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2009/03/05/margiela-mia.
    27. Johanna Agerman, Martin Margiela, iconeye (April 2009) http://www.iconeye.com/read-previous-issues/icon-070-|-april-2009/martin-margiela.
    28. Martin Margiela thrives without its founder, CPP-Luxury.com (May 15, 2010) http://www.cpp-luxury.com/martin-margiela-thrives-without-its-founder/.
    29. CEO Talk | Giovanni Pungetti, Chief Executive Officer, Maison Martin Margiela, see footnote 11.

    The Departure of Martin Margiela

    1. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009, 155.
    2. Joseph Kosuth Studio, Maison Martin Margiela, Interview (September 1, 2008), http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/maison-martin-margiela/.
    3. Eric Wilson, Martin Margiela to Leave Fashion House He Founded , N.Y. Times On the Runway Blog(September 28, 2008), http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/martin-margiela-to-remain-at-jil-sander/.
    4. Suzy Menkes, In the wake of the ‘venerables,’ will young designers stay the course?, International Herald Tribune (September 28, 2008), http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/style/28iht-rstatus.4.16537190.html.
    5. Imran Amed, CEO Talk | Giovanni Pungetti, Chief Executive Officer, Maison Martin Margiela, Business of Fashion (September 29, 2011), http://www.businessoffashion.com/2011/09/ceo-talk-giovanni-pungetti-chief-executive-officer-maison-martin-margiela.html.
    6. In the wake of the ‘venerables,’ will young designers stay the course?, see footnote 11.
    7. Godfrey Deeny, Diesel’s Rosso Buys Majority of Viktor & Rolf, Fashion Wire Daily (July 22, 2008), http://www.fashionwiredaily.com/first_word/news/article.weml?id=2071.
    8. Lauren Milligan, Margiela sans Margiela, Vogue UK (October 3, 2009), http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2009/10/03/martin-margiela-no-longer-at-the-maison.
    9. Martin Margiela to Leave Fashion House He Founded, see footnote 4.
    10. CEO Talk | Giovanni Pungetti, Chief Executive Officer, Maison Martin Margiela, see footnote 5.
    11. Miles Socha, Art Versus Commerce: Can Margiela Expand Without Selling Out?, Women’s Wear Daily (May 2, 2008), http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/art-versus-commerce-can-margiela-expand-without-selling-out-455630.

    Conceptual Hallmarks and Themes

    1. Joseph Kosuth Studio, Maison Martin Margiela, Interview (September 1, 2008), http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/maison-martin-margiela/.
    2. Filep Motwary, INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, Un Nouveau Ideal (June 29, 2010)http://www.filepmotwary.com/motwary/2010/06/interview-maison-martin-margiela-in-a-conversation-with-filep-motwary.html.
    3. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    4. Susannah Frankel, Martin Margiela: Fashion’s Invisible Superstar, The Independent (July 16, 2008), http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/martin-margiela-fashions-invisible-superstar-868562.html.
    5. Official Glossary, White.
    6. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    7. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    8. Official Glossary, Anonymity.
    9. Times Topic, Martin Margiela, N.Y. Times, http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/m/martin_margiela/index.html.
    10. Tag: Iggy Pop, cotonblanc http://cotonblanc.tumblr.com/tagged/iggy-pop.
    11. Fashion!, Arte, October 20, 2012. Streaming Video. http://videos.arte.tv/fr/videos/fashion-2-3–6994606.html.
    12. Amy M. Spindler, Review/Fashion; Four Designers In the Vanguard Hold the Line, N.Y. Times (October 11, 1993), www.nytimes.com/1993/10/11/style/review-fashion-four-designers-in-the-vanguard-hold-the-line.html.
    13. Scarlett Kilcooley-O’Halloran, The Meaning of Margiela, Vogue UK (October 18, 2012), http://www.vogue.co.uk/news/2012/10/18/the-meaning-of-margiela.
    14. Amy M. Spindler, Coming Apart, N.Y. Times (July 25, 1993) http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/25/style/coming-apart.html.
    15. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009. p. 145.
    16. Martin Margiela: Fashion’s Invisible Superstar, see footnote 4.
    17a. Susannah Frankel, The birth, death, and re-birth of conceptual fashion, in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), insert between 40-1.
    17b. Sarah Mower, Margiela, Be mine, Vogue (September 2008), in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), 175.
    17c. Lucian James, Maison Martin Margiela: The Cult of Invisibility – Part One, Business of Fashion (October 28, 2009), http://www.businessoffashion.com/2009/10/maison-martin-margiela-part-one-%E2%80%93-the-cult-of-invisibility.html.
    18. Official Glossary, White.
    19. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    20. Official Glossary, White.
    21. Susannah Frankel, Not a colour for cowards, The Independent (December 18, 2003), in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), 146.
    22. Chris Dercon, Fashion Like the Dark Side of the Moon: the Moon Ray, in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), insert between 136-7.
    23. Official Glossary, White.
    24. Martin Margiela: Fashion’s Invisible Superstar, see footnote 4.
    25. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    26. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    27. Coming Apart, see footnote 14.
    28. Susannah Frankel, The birth, death, and re-birth of conceptual fashion, in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), insert between 40-1.
    29. Joseph Kosuth Studio, Maison Martin Margiela, see footnote 1.
    30. The birth, death, and re-birth of conceptual fashion, see footnote 28.
    31. Amy M. Spindler, Thriving on Fashion’s Tattered Edge, N.Y. Times (March 15, 1993), http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/15/style/thriving-on-fashion-s-tattered-edge.html.
    32. Coming Apart, see footnote 14.
    33. Review/Fashion; Four Designers In the Vanguard Hold the Line, see footnote 12.
    34. Official Glossary, Recycling.
    35. Suzy Menkes, The Road Back to Formal: Vuitton’s New Voyage, N.Y. Times (January 26, 2002), http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/26/news/26iht-rlive_ed3_.html.
    36. Suzy Menkes, RUNWAYS; The Shock of the Old, N.Y. Times (March 21, 1993), http://www.nytimes.com/1993/03/21/style/runways-the-shock-of-the-old.html
    37. Official Glossary, Replica Line.
    38. INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, see footnote 2.
    39. Coming Apart, see footnote 14.
    40. Anne-Marie Schiro, Review/Fashion; Matchless Pair of Avant-Garde Belgians, (March 22, 1992), http://www.nytimes.com/1992/03/22/news/review-fashion-matchless-pair-of-avant-garde-belgians.html.
    41. Mark Holgate, Who is Martin Margiela?, Harvey Nichols Magazine, in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), 175.
    42. Martin Margiela: Fashion’s Invisible Superstar, see footnote 4.
    43. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela p. 145, 210.
    44. Official Glossary, Line 4.
    45. Official Glossary, Trompe-l’oeil.

    Legacy

    1. Tim Blanks, Enigma Variations (June 3, 2010), http://www.style.com/peopleparties/parties/scoop/global-060310_Margiela_20_Exhibition.
    2. Lucian James, Maison Martin Margiela: The Cult of Invisibility – Part Two, Business of Fashion (October 28, 2009), http://www.businessoffashion.com/2009/10/maison-martin-margiela-the-cult-of-invisibility-part-two.html.
    3. Eric Wilson, Gone and Even More Collectible, N.Y. Times (January 27, 2010), https://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/28/fashion/28ROW.html?ref=martinmargiela&_r=0.
    4. Sarah Mower, Margiela, Be mine, Vogue (September 2008), in Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., 2009), 175.
    5. Harriet Walker, Out of sight, not out of mind: Celebrating two decades of Martin Margiela magic, The Independent (December 6, 2009)http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/features/out-of-sight-not-out-of-mind-celebrating-two-decades-of-martin-margiela-magic-1832810.html?origin=internalSearch.
    6. Out of sight, not out of mind: Celebrating two decades of Martin Margiela magic, see footnote 4.
    7. Eric Wilson, “Martin Margiela to Exit Margiela?”, N.Y. Times On the Runway Blog (September 28, 2008) http://runway.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/09/28/martin-margiela-to-remain-at-jil-sander/.
    8. Haider Ackermann: The Future of Mystery?, Interview (September 24, 2009), http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/haider-ackermann-margiela#_.

    Art and Museum Exhibitions

    1. Suzy Menkes, Gone Global: Fashion as Art, N.Y. Times (July 4, 2011) https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/05/fashion/is-fashion-really-museum-art.html.
    2. Ian Luna, ed., Maison Martin Margiela (New York: Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.) 2009. 147.
    3. Correspondence btw Malcolm Mclaren and Maison Martin Margiela, Has Anybody Seen My Old Friend Martin?, N.Y. Times T Magazine (March 13, 2005), https://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/style/tmagazine/TM1502150.html.
    4. Filep Motwary, INTERVIEW: MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA in conversation with FILEP MOTWARY, Un Nouveau Ideal (June 29, 2010)http://www.filepmotwary.com/motwary/2010/06/interview-maison-martin-margiela-in-a-conversation-with-filep-motwary.html.
    5. Joseph Kosuth Studio, Maison Martin Margiela, Interview (September 1, 2008), http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/maison-martin-margiela/.