MARTIN MARGIELA
THE PRESS-SHY DESIGNER SHARES A FEW WORDS ON HIS FIRST MONTHS AT HERMES.

Byline: Sarah Raper, March 1998

Martin Margiela, the media-averse designer, has dueling reputations as a retail sell-through star and a journalist’s migraine. He refuses to be photographed or interviewed face-to-face — he claims that he wants the clothes to do the talking and grab the spotlight, not his persona — but you can fax him, so we did. Here, some highlights, printed in Q&A form, at the request of the house:
WWD: “Now that you have worked at Hermes for several months and prepared your first collection for the company, what is your idea of what Hermes ready-to-wear should be?”
Margiela: “A further strengthening in the marriage of our vision on the Hermes pret-a-porter for women and the personality and spirit of Hermes itself. A continued and persistent response [to] the sensitivity of the Hermes customer. A sensitivity to the transcendence of quality, tradition, craftsmanship and comfort. Given this, little will change in our approach to our work on subsequent collections, to that which we applied to the collection seen at the show tonight.”
WWD: “How have Hermes’s resources allowed you to try new things?”
Margiela: “An approach to a use of fabrics and the utility of a garment that is in keeping with the requisites of an Hermes customer.”
WWD: “Could you give an example?”
Margiela: “Yes.”
But, in fact, no elaboration was forthcoming. It appears that any such example will be reserved for today’s show at the flagship Hermes store on the Rue du Faubourg St. Honore. In October, Margiela showed his own collection on coat hangers. For Hermes, word is that the show will feature women who are not professional models.

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