Enigmatic fashion designer Martin Margiela has maintained a low profile since retiring from the industry in 2008, mostly keeping to himself aside from the occasional surprise appearance at an event or in print. His eponymous label, co-founded with Jenny Meirens and currently overseen by John Galliano, still exists but the man himself is long gone.
Or, was long gone, as Margiela himself is quietly returning to the public sphere, this time as an artist.
In late 2020, it was first announced that Margiela would stage his first solo art show at LVMH's Galeries Lafayette department store. It was then postponed from April until October as the COVID-19 pandemic surged but, now that the debut's date is creeping ever closer, Antwerp gallery Zeno X has confirmed representation of the reclusive creative.
Over forty never-before-seen Martin Margiela artworks will be on display at Lafayette Anticipations in Paris as part of Margiela's artistic debut. Before the big unveiling, three of Margiela's sculptures will first premiere at the FIAC art fair in Paris.
Then, it'll all come home when Margiela's show heads to Belgium in Spring 2022.
It's been a long, strange trip for Martin Margiela, one of the fashion industry's most avant-garde (and mysterious) designers.
Images of Margiela are so scarce that each new one makes headlines. This is very intentional: not only Margiela shun the spotlight, he preferred that his output speak for itself, whether he was refashioning doll clothing into human-sized garments or setting the standard for luxury at Hermès.
Though Margiela is well-recognized as an iconoclast, his foray into art actually mirrors the trajectory of Helmut Lang, another monkish ex-designer who escaped the fashion industry in 2005 to focus exclusively on art.