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Maison Martin Margiela

French

Belgian designer Martin Margiela (b. 1957) — whose life, career, and designs for handbags, clothing and shoes have become cult-collector obsessions — pushed those who attended his shows outside their comfort zones. In the years following the 1988 debut of Maison Martin Margiela, he toyed with creative and aesthetic paradoxes that persist in fashion today.

Consider the Spring/Summer 2001 shirt patchworked from vintage clothing labels, or his famous corset dresses made from tailoring dummies, from his Fall/Winter 1997 line. Or his oversize collection for Fall/Winter 2000. In 1992, Margiela told Dépêche Mode magazine, “My clothes appeal to women of a certain mindset rather than of a specific age or physique.”

Born in Genk, Belgium, in 1957, Margiela knew he wanted to be a fashion designer after catching glimpses of Parisian fashion on TV as a child. Although his parents discouraged this career choice as an oddly funny aspiration, Margiela enrolled in the fashion program of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp. There, he befriended and graduated a year ahead of the Antwerp Six — the acclaimed group of Belgian fashion designers comprising Dries Van Noten, Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Dirk Bikkembergs and Dirk Van Saene.

Like many of his contemporaries in the 1980s, Margiela understood Paris fashion but felt a deep resonance with the deconstructed beauty espoused by Japanese designers Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo, of Comme des Garçons. Margiela’s fascination with Japan influenced many of his earliest collections and designs, from a dress pieced together from broken plates to his iconic Tabi boots, inspired by the split-toe Japanese worker’s shoe, which dates back to the 15th century.

Margiela decided to launch his own line while working for renowned Paris designer Jean Paul Gaultier. With Belgian designer Jenny Meirens, Margiela established Maison Martin Margiela in the French capital in 1988. 

Margiela’s debut show was nothing short of spectacular. Set in a packed Café de la Gare in the still-seedy Marais district, it was also scandalous to the Parisian fashion set of the time. The designer tore up the conventions of contemporary couture presentations, most notably having his models, plucked from the streets and wearing ink-blotted Tabis, wend their way through the crowd.

The show redefined the concept of the runway in a way that would later inspire such designers as Alexander McQueen and Demna Gvasalia.

While the notoriously private designer retired from fashion in 2009, for many Maison Martin Margiela collectors, his pieces capture the irreverence of the postwar, post-punk late 1980s and ’90s. Katy Rodriguez, cofounder of the cult vintage fashion shop Resurrection, is among those who felt a connection to Margiela’s clothing in the subliminal challenges it posed to the time’s beauty norms.

“Growing up in San Francisco and coming out of the end of punk rock, not wanting to be objectified, not wanting to be seen as a sexual object, not wanting your value to be just because you’re pretty — all those clothes played into all of that,” she says. “It really was a reflection of the kind of world the young people I knew at the time wanted to live in.”

John Galliano was named creative director at the house in 2014 and it rebranded as Maison Margiela in 2015.

Find vintage Maison Martin Margiela boots, evening dresses, jackets and more on 1stDibs.

Maison Margiela Red Leather Platform Croc Clogs 39
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
Maison Margiela Red Leather Platform Croc Clogs in size 39. These shoes feature perforated leather similar to the look of Crocs, but with the style of clog...
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21st Century and Contemporary Italian Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Margiela White Cotton Midi Dress, Size 44
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
- Crew neckline - Sleeveless style - Mid length - Silver tone real zip closure - Features side cut out with polka dot and striped pattern detail - Made in Italy
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Margiela Paris Navy Maxi Dress, Size 36
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
- Shine finish - Knit detail on the neckline - Loose fit - 3/4 sleeve length - Made in Italy
Category

2010s French Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Margiela Artisanal Spider-Web Hand Knit Sweater, Spring Summer 2016
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Seattle, WA
A piece you would not often see on the internet. This one including different textile: Wool, Mohair, Cashmere, unlike Raf Simons or Number(N)ine Size on tag: M, fits Oversized Con...
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2010s French Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela Belted Straight Pant
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Laguna Beach, CA
These elegant cream-colored straight leg pants from Maison Martin Margiela are belted, with opposing buckles that secure with a wrap-around strap. Two front seam pockets.
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Early 2000s Italian Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela High Waist Pants
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Laguna Beach, CA
Grey twill straight-leg high-waisted trousers have a tab closure, belt loops, exposed seams, and side slit pockets. These wool pants come to you from the Maison Martin Margiela Iconi...
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Early 2000s French Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela High Cut Wide Leg Pant
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Laguna Beach, CA
Grey pant from vintage Maison Martin Margiela is a high-cut style with wide legs. They feature distinctive front seams that extend down from the two front pockets and a half snap/hal...
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Early 2000s Italian Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela Double Layer Coat
By Maison Martin Margiela
Located in Laguna Beach, CA
This long coat comes from Maison Martin Margiela. The inner detachable layer is soft and light and feels like you're wearing a blanket. It has a long zippered front. The outer trench...
Category

Early 2000s Italian Maison Martin Margiela

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Maison Martin Margiela fashion for sale on 1stDibs.

Find an extraordinary range of authentic Maison Martin Margiela fashion available on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing our collection of unique vintage and designer fashion to elevate your daily look or to introduce new colors to the dazzling formal wear in your wardrobe, this designer’s body of work includes elements of red, blue, purple and other tones. Customers who are interested in this designer might also find the work of Stella McCartney, Emanuel Ungaro, and Donatella Versace appealing. On 1stDibs, find haute couture, vintage and designer Maison Martin Margiela fashion from top boutiques around the world. Maison Martin Margiela fashion prices can differ depending upon time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $60 and tops out at $38,481, while the average work can sell for $850.
Questions About Maison Martin Margiela
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    John Galliano is currently creative director of the French fashion house Maison Margiela, previously called Maison Martin Margiela. In the past, he has been the creative director for Givenchy and Christian Dior. Browse a range of expertly vetted Maison Margiela pieces from top sellers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The upscale sporty style of Maison Martin Margiela sneakers gives them versatile styling possibilities. While how you wear them is up to personal preference, they can be dressed up with a breezy sundress, paired with classic jeans and a tee, or dressed down with joggers and a tank. Shop a selection of Maison Margiela sneakers on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    The key to spotting fake Maison Martin Margiela products is quality. The Maison Margiela brand is known for designer-level craftsmanship and materials. An authentic Maison Margiela product should have neat, even stitching, a crisp logo and high level of attention to detail. Shop an array of expertly vetted Maison Margiela pieces from top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Maison Martin Margiela, now simply called Maison Margiela, is a French fashion house founded in 1988. It was first founded by Belgian designer Martin Margiela and takes inspiration from avant-garde styling. On 1stDibs, find a range of authentic Maison Margiela pieces.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 16, 2024
    The story of what happened to Maison Martin Margiela is one of changes in creative direction. In 2009, Martin Margiela left the celebrated fashion house that he founded, and during the subsequent years, the brand lacked a creative director to guide its work. That changed in 2014, when John Galliano took on the role. On 1stDibs, explore a diverse assortment of Maison Martin Margiela apparel and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertMarch 15, 2024
    Yes, Maison Margiela is well known. In fact, the fashion house's clothing designs and vintage shoes have become cult-collector obsessions in recent years. Founder Martin Margiela has gained acclaim for toying with creative and aesthetic paradoxes that persist in fashion today through pieces like his famous corset dresses made from tailoring dummies and his Spring/Summer 2001 shirt patchworked from vintage clothing labels. On 1stDibs, shop a diverse assortment of Maison Margiela apparel and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    No, Maison Margiela is not owned by L’Oréal. The Italian company OTB Group owns Maison Margiela as of January 2022. L'Oréal is a separate French company. On 1stDibs, shop a range of Maison Margiela apparel and accessories from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertFebruary 21, 2024
    Yes, Maison Margiela is a luxury brand. Established by Belgian designer Martin Margiela in 1988, the fashion house is known for its avant-garde approach to design, and its runway shows often challenge prevailing style conventions. Many celebrities are fans of the brand, including Rihanna, Cardi B, Doja Cat, Paul Bettany, Megan Fox and Kendall Jenner. On 1stDibs, explore a selection of Maison Margiela apparel and accessories.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 26, 2024
    Opinions on how Maison Margiela shoes fit vary. Many online reviewers state that the luxury fashion house's footwear runs true to size, but a small number state that they run small. To ensure a comfortable fit, the best approach is to measure your foot and compare it to the brand's official sizing chart prior to selecting a size. Find an assortment of Maison Margiela shoes on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertJune 6, 2024
    No, Maison Margiela is not an Italian brand. The luxury fashion house is actually French. Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela founded the brand in 1988 in Paris with fellow designer Jenny Meirens. Today, the maison maintains its headquarters in the city. However, the Italian corporation OTB Group now owns it. On 1stDibs, shop a selection of Maison Margiela apparel and accessories.

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