The human figures walk during the fashion shows with their face hidden most of the time in bizarre yet contemporary outfits by a fashion designer from Belgium – Martin Margiela, who was born in 1957 in Genk. In 1979, he attained his graduation degree from Royal Academy of Fine Arts.
After graduating, he began working as a freelance designer and did so for more than four years. From 1985 until 1987, Martin worked for the designer Jean Paul Gaultier, before producing his own collection under his eponymous label in 1989. Later on, he worked as the creative director of the women’s line at Hermès between the years 1997 and 2003.
During the course of his career, Martin maintained a subdued personal profile. The designer usually stays behind the lights, as in backstage, hence he had hardly ever gotten his pictures taken. Whenever anyone has caught him on the camera, he mostly hides his face with his hands. Then how is the media contacted? All this is done through fax. When asked in an interview if the designer would want to be famous or infamous, Martin replied that he would rather be anonymous.
His trademark is as much of a mystery as himself, it contains his name and the numbers from zero to twenty-three. The badge of his label in attached to the inside and to the outside of unlined wear. For the company’s twentieth anniversary, the tag was switched to a archetypal logotype.
In 2002, his brand was overtaken by Diesel. The gossip spreading birdies or insiders of the industry were quoted as giving out the information that Martin may want to leave because of differences between the creative minds. The other reason for this was his sheer desire to step away from the adamant glare of the world of fashion.
It was in 2008 that the first peek of Martin’s face got published in print, New York Times. In addition to this, the story broke the news that Raf Simons was offered to take in hands the rein of the company. However, it was also written that Simons rejected the offer. Moreover, Haider Ackermann was approached to work as the creative director of Martin Margiela, but the position was turned down.
In 2009, Renzo Rosso who is the key stakeholder of the Margiela label stated publically that although the designer who founded the company is no longer working with it, the label under his name is working with the efforts of a new design team. Rosso emphasized that the focus for the 2015 is a youthful and energetic future for the company.
In another interview Martin Margiela described his view on color and some elements related to designing. According to him color is a temperature, an intensity, a clash and also a harmony. He feels that skin is a protective shield, fabric is a medium, texture is the result of time, construction is a means to a certain end, craftsmanship is a fruit of time, clothing is the concluding layer and fashion is a progression of propositions. Towards the end of the interview, the designer said that other than clothing he would like to develop an ‘understanding’.