Maison Margiela is a French fashion house founded in Paris in 1988 by Belgian designer Martin Margiela. The elusive designer - who has famously never appeared on the runway - has since handed the label's creative reins to an in-house design team now led by John Galliano, who together continue to push the boundaries between art and fashion.

Often associated with the 'Antwerp Six', a group of avant-garde designers who graduated from Antwerp Fashion Academy in 1980 (though Margiela graduated a year earlier), he was a pioneer of deconstructionist design. Revolting against the methods of traditional luxury houses, Margiela created garments made entirely from repurposed scarves or belts, or with oversized proportions or seams on the outside. Models' faces are often obscured on the runway, and Margiela himself shied away from public attention, preferring to keep the focus on the clothes and reinforce the collaborative nature of fashion design. An extension of this approach is the brand's 'Replica' line, which repurposes and reproduces unassuming found objects and garments, including the now-iconic German army trainers, which Margiela has repurposed as a luxury casual shoe, made in Italy from fine leathers. Overt branding is always avoided, though Margiela's subtle four white pick stitches in the neck-label have become a recognisable signature to those in the know. Both masculine and feminine, often fusing the two genders, the brand’s universe can be described as conceptual and enigmatic, mysterious and iconoclast. Today, the House is recognised internationally for its unique approach to modern elegance.
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