November 18, 2012

Best Fall/Winter 2012 party: Maison Martin Margiela for H&M

I’ve told you before, in other articles, about the hide-and-seek fashion presentations and how things stand with the strategy of promotion by non-promotion put up by the Martin Margiela fashion house. A brilliant policy of keeping an aura of mystery , exclusive information and very few personalities invited to their shows, which created more interest than even, as everybody wanted to be included among the luckiest winners of a ticket show or be rated as connoisseurs. I was saying at the time that such a curiosity was stirred, that shortly after the brand’s launch, everybody wanted to know who he was, how he looked like or at least whether this designer that nobody ever saw, not even in photographs, was for real.

Now, everybody knows the iconoclast, avant-garde Maison Martin Margiela, but it did’t use to be like that. Just to give you an example, the House is on the market for 22 years, but only in 2010 they inaugurated their online shop.

Margiela remains unknown even today. Nobody ever saw him, there are no pictures of him, he never showed up in his office and the only way he connects with his people or the press is by (the old fashion way) fax, so he cannot be tracked. The curiosity about Margiela’s identity kept nagging me for some time and if he were for real, I’d have a couple of plausible propositions for his name. But let’s talk about this in another story.

For a long time, the Belgian designer managed to create an absolute hysteria. His highly inventive deconstructed clothes became extremely fashionable in record time, but it was even more in vogue to be seen wearing them.

The mere label representing numbers and four white seams became so invaluable to fashion victims that they caught the daring ones in fitting rooms working hard to detach the label from the original clothes only to sew it on their own. Even notable personalities of the fashion industry longed for a seat to the extremely private Margiela shows and they used to rate their influence for some time depending on who was and who was not invited to his shows.

The success became so big that Maison Martin Margiela was named Correspondent Member of Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. First “Artisanal” presentation during the Haute Couture SS 2006 fashion week. Not to say that between 1998 till 2003 the Hermès women’s ready-to-wear collections were designed by Martin Margiela.

Meanwhile, things changed a bit. Margiela left the House, being replaced by a young designers team. Renzo Rosso owner of the Diesel Group became the main shareholder of the House expanding the brand with slightly more opened tactics.

La Maison has a Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, Thumbler accounts, an e-boutiqueall the modern social media. And the projects keep going on to higher levels.

Recently, I was invited in Paris by Maison Martin Margiela at the launch of their highly acclaimed collaboration with the Swedish brand H&M. When I got to the venue, a huge queue was blocking the entrance. I was discouraged for a moment, but immediately a person from the Maison Martin Margiela staff, came to rescue me from the crowd and took me personally inside with a special highly polite VIP treatment. Wearing a white immaculate robe (the official outfit the Margiela officers), he showed me the key pieces of the collection and the new Taschen success – FASHION NOW edited by Terry Jones. I was very impressed to find out that Fashion Now has an amazing cover highlighting one of the most striking Margiela outfits. It presents the story of all the major designers and you can purchase it even from the H&M stores.

Regarding the reputed MMM&HM collection, I will keep the Margiela mysterious air and will invite you in the stores to discover it by yourselves. Promise you it’s a total hit!!!

Happy shopping week!