Martin Margiela’s Leave Finalized, Diesel Says No Thanks To Replacements

December 9, 2009 • Fashion

Designs from Maison Martn Margiela, including his famous wig coats

After months of speculation that Belgian designer Martin Margiela left the label he founded twenty years ago, Maison Martin Margiela, it was recently confirmed that the notoriously private designer had indeed slipped out of his post as chief operator some time ago. Having given up his primary stakes in the company after selling it to Diesel back in 2002, many believed it was only a matter of time before Margiela disappeared off the scene completely. Known for his outlandish designs such as his highly publicized wig coats, fashion insiders could tell something was amiss when his signature touch became missing from recent collections.

But though he may be gone he is definitely not forgotten. In fact, Giovanni Pungetti, chief executive of Maison Martin Margiela, said Tuesday that the label would continue to operate with the creative staff
that its Margiela himself developed for over 20 years, but that there
would be no new appointment of a creative director
. “It would have been very simple to hire someone else, and we evaluated
that option, but in the end, what is important is the taste of
designer,” Mr. Pungetti said Tuesday in an interview in Paris. Pungetti denied the rumors that Margiela's reason was due to a conflict of interest with Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel, and claimed instead the enigmatic designer was simply ready to retire.

The Martin Margiela brand, however, will continue to thrive under the care of the Diesel umbrella. The Italian brand has has also taken majority stakes in other edgy labels like that of the
Dutch design duo Viktor & Rolf, has increased revenue at Maison
Martin Margiela to a predicted €70 million (about $105 million), for
the current financial year from €15 million in 2002
. Margiela-branded stores have been opened across the globe from Hong
Kong to Moscow to Munich, with a pop-up store at the Art Basel Miami
Beach art fair this week. And the first Margiela fragrance will be introduced early next year by L’Oréal, and a spa hotel opens in Bordeaux, France this Friday. Not bad for a man who is no longer physically present at his own label. Margiela's apparent genius lies in his construction of a hand-picked creative team of 28 people to carry on his unique vision. And of course, it doesn't hurt that he choose one of the most successful branding business in the world to run his company either. With all the money from these new enterprises, it's almost certain that he's run off to some tropical island for good and now we'll never get to see his face! 

Article Source: The New York Times

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—Alia Rajput

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