According to sources, the Belgian designer behind Paris-based Y/Project and also the new creative director of Diesel is probably up next after Sacai’s Chitose Abe, who is meant to kick off the new strategy with her one-off couture collection.
Asked for comment, Gaultier officials would only say that it is “in discussions with different profiles.”
The house has been dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on fashion weeks. On Tuesday, it postponed the Jean Paul Gaultier x Sacai couture show for the second time, saying it would shift to July rather than this month’s couture week, scheduled for Jan. 25 to 28.
Prized for his innovate cutting and experimental approach to fashion, Martens has been on Gaultier’s radar since at least 2008. That year, Martens staged his graduate show at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts and Gaultier recruited him as junior designer for his women’s pre-collection and the G2 men’s label. Martens went on to join Y/Project in 2010 and took the creative helm of that brand in 2013.
Abe was selected as Gaultier’s first guest designer following his retirement from the runway in January 2020, and is relishing the prospect of interpreting Gaultier’s vast and eclectic oeuvre, and taking advantage of his atelier’s formidable knowhow.
With a career spanning 50 years, Gaultier is one of French fashion’s greatest showmen and innovators, breaking down gender barriers — and fashion ones, too — designing everything from jeans and cone bras to tailored ensembles and fantastical eveningwear. He first joined the couture calendar in 1997.
Inviting serial collaborators instead of a permanent creative director is becoming an increasingly popular model, embraced by Moncler in recent years and more recently adopted by the likes of Emilio Pucci.