Born on the 9th of April 1957, Martin Margiela was born in Genk, Belgium.

In the mid-1970s Margiela viewed a TV news feature on André Courreges and Paco Rabanne whose designs inspired the Belgian to take a step into the fashion world.

He graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1979, a year before the formation of the world-renowned Antwerp Six collective, which included the likes of Walter Van Beirendonck and Ann Demeulemeester, who played a pivotal role in bringing contemporary fashion into the mainline, Margiela was made an honorary member of the collective in the early 80s.

Margiela based himself in Paris and worked as a freelance designer for five years until 1984 when he became a design assistant for Jean Paul Gaultier he held that position until 1987 garnering huge praise from Gaultier.

In 1988, Margiela launched his eponymous label and his first collection with business partner Jenny Meirens, provoking immediate shock and intrigue, his first silhouettes pushing him forwards and showing his advancement amongst a difficult time in fashion, this resulted in him being awarded the inaugural, now prestigious, ANDAM fellowship for fashion.

Martin Margiela become infamous for refusing to bow at his shows, eventually refusing to have pictures taken and becoming very conservative when it came to the fashion industry and his business, many argued that the anonymity was a publicity stunt, however, Margiela asserted that his more shrouded demeanour was because of his opinions that the fashion industry had become overly commercialized and his genuine attempts to focus the fashion to the clothing and not the personas behind it. In 2008, the New York Times referred to Martin Margiela as “fashion’s invisible man”.

Between 1997 and 2003, Margiela was commissioned as the creative director of Hermes Womenswear working under influential late chairman Jean-Louis Dumas.

His notoriety continued with the inclusion of the original tags on his garments, a number between 0 and 23 was emblazoned onto a plain white piece of cloth, the numbers acting as a referencing code rather than chronological order, these tags were hand tacked with four white stitches that were visible from the exterior of the garment, intended to not be removed or picked, further cementing his contradiction to the norm.

In October 2009, it was announced that Martin Margiela had resigned as creative director of his label to varied speculation, in the months that followed his departure, the likes of Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann turned down the role, being such huge boots to fill.

An anonymous design team was bought in collectively known as ‘Maison’ with the company moving into interior design and homeware, most prominently designing rooms for La Maison Champs Elysées as well as a high street collaboration with H&M amongst others.

The companies creative direction was taken over by controversial and eccentric Gibraltar-born British designer John Galliano who continues to promote and design beautifully provocative designs for Maison Margiela.

Martin Margiela has left a lasting legacy on the fashion industry, inspiring the likes of the late, great Alexander McQueen, Azzedine Alaia and Marc Jacobs, his anonymity is still questioned to this day with rumours of him being in the audience of Paris and London fashion weeks.

Zee and Co stocks a wide range of garments from Maison Margiela, including trainers, upper wear, and trousers.