Saw the news feed on my Facebook today and let out an elated screech – Swedish budget clothing retailer H&M has just announced that Maison Martin Margiela (MMM) would be designing a capsule collection of men’s and women’s clothes to go on sale online and in its 230 stores around the world this November – WOO HOO!
This follows past insanely popular H&M capsule collections by Versace, Comme des Garcons, Sonia Rykiel, Jimmy Choo and Marni. First reported in WWD, the speculation was quickly picked up a number of other fashion news outlets and only just confirmed by official sources.
Established by publicity-shy Belgian designer Martin Margiela in 1989, the house is famed for its cleft-toe boots, deconstructed tailoring and surrealist approach to classic fashion. The brand has become a staple in every fashionista’s closet just like a Hermes Birkin bag. Famously publicity-shy, Martin Margiela is rarely photographed, his clothes do not sport a proper tag, and MMM shops don’t even have its name on the shopfront. All this mysteriousness adds up to the mythical quality of the MMM brand, and makes it much coveted by many.
Which is why industry experts have called this a ‘surprising’ collaboration – an elusive brand with little to no advertising, and a mass-market high street brand whose ads are plastered on billboards all over the world. Perhaps this signifies the change in strategy by Renzo Rosso, the owner of Diesel, whose group acquired control of the Margiela fashion business in 2002. Margiela left his own namesake brand in October 2009 following speculations of creative differences with Rosso. This collaboration with H&M perhaps signifies Rosso’s intentions to increase the public awareness of the brand:
Rosso: ‘He <Martin Margiela> 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.’
Up till now, the king of conceptual fashion has been hard to replace – Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann have both declined the position of creative director. A creative team of 20 something people now design for the brand – so does that mean Margiela’s talents are worth more than 20 creative brains? Hmmm, some food for thought.
I am a huge fan of MMM’s highly experimental and deconstructed designs, even though Darren my chum labels me more of a Christmas tree :p Although MMM is anything but cheap, the pieces are extremely special, well-made and timeless classics that can last through the decade. So when I buy, I go by the very scientific calculation of “Cost Per Wear”. *WINK*
Excited as I am, I am definitely planning to buy the whole H&M x Maison Martin Margiela collection – budget permitting! Meanwhile, I have blocked off 15 NoveMMMber 2012 on my agenda – no appointments please. I have a date with H&M x MMM :)
Fun Facts about Martin Margiela
FACT 1: Margiela is from Belgium, and considered to be the “seventh” member of the Antwerp Six. The Antwerp Six were six Belgium fashion designers that graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts (a super prestigious fashion design school) in the 80s, and then proceeded to drive to London in a van to show off their wares. The Antwerp Six is Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee. Thanks to them, and Margiela, the Belgian fashion designers got a reputation for being quite avant-garde, a reputation they still have.
FACT 2: No one sees him. He doesn’t do personal appearances, and he never meets journalists.
FACT 3: He never referred to himself as “I”. It was always “Maison Martin Margiela is doing this…” or “We are doing this…” instead of “I am doing this…”
FACT 4: His clothes don’t have the brand name on the label, and his shops don’t have the name on the outside.
FACT 5: He is known for recycling garments.
FACT 6: He only communicates by fax (huh, what social media??)
FACT 7: His fashion shows involve a running commentary about the clothing, and all of his staff wear white lab coats.
FACT 8: He often costs his garments based on the number of hours spent making them.
Fun Facts Source: Searching for Style