Margiela Through the Years
Maison Margiela was founded in 1988 by Belgian designer Martin Margiela. The house personnel wear a single dress code: the uniform "blouse blanche" is a unifying factor of the creative collective. The headquarters are painted entirely white, with furniture covered in white cotton. Each garment is marked with a plain white label, numbered with reference codes 1 through 23, and is fastened by four stitches which can be cut out and removed to render the garment anonymous.
The 1997 launch of Line 6, now called MM6, introduced a contemporary line to the collection that consisted of high designer ready-to-wear and couture-esq reworked one of a kind pieces. In 1998 the iconic Tabi shoe was introduced. Inspired by traditional Japanese footwear in has the signature split toe. The year 2000 saw the opening of the first Margiela boutique in Tokyo, followed by Brussels and Paris in 2002.
Maison Martin Margiela oversaw creative direction of womenswear for the French design house Hermès from 1997 until 2003, demonstrating his unexpected range as a designer by showing collections focused on quality and timelessness, instead of the wild subversion and deconstruction of classic Hermès pieces the press was anticipating.
In 2008 the Maison Margiela 20th Anniversary exhibition is hosted at Antwerp’s ModeMuseum (MoMu), delving into the house’s themes and codes by exploring 20 years of collections, fashion shows, interior design, and even the Maison’s communications policy.
2010 saw the house's first steps into Line 3 - The Fragrances Collection with an anonymous scent with notes of fresh greens in a raw glass apothecary bottle dipped in white paint. The scent was called "baptized" (untitled).
In 2011 the house launched Line 13 – Objects & Publications, Maison Margiela’s collection of interior design pieces. The decorative pieces are minimalist, yet vaguely Dada pieces of mundane life - an all white set of Russian nesting dolls, white pre-melted candles, trompe l'oeil stickers and magnets, feather pens, minimalist snow globes, and white egg door stoppers.
2014 John Galliano takes over as creative director, continuing to design 13 collections in the Margiela, and if you've ever wondered how to decode the tag, see below...
0 "Artisanal" - collection for men and women
1 Woman's collection
4 Woman's garderobe
8 Eyewear Collection
10 Men's Collection
13 Objects and catalogs
14 Man's wardrobe