The Maison Martin Margiela has been one of the most creative and financially successful Belgian fashion brands of late. Its Brussels shop entrance is unobtrusive, like the company's all-white logo, with no visible sign outside, only a doorbell. The small shop is located in an old historical building, not far from Brussels' main fashion store artery, the rue Antoine-Dansaer. It is also the first designer store in what has now become a global empire. As a pillar of the legendary Antwerp Six group of fashion designers, the reclusive Margiela has never made a personal appearance on the catwalks at the end of his fashion shows. Nor has he provided interviews to the press. Any attempt to obtain a photograph of him will be just as fruitless. Instead, he will send you a group photo of himself together with his entire work team.
The shops of the Maison Martin Margiela are known for their all-white interiors, creative use of antique details and sales staff dressed in white smocks - the perfect embodiment of Margiela's style. The designer adopts an analytical approach to clothing, by unravelling it and then putting it back together again in his own, creative style. He also uses vintage clothing in his new designs, for he is fascinated not only by the opportunity to transform clothes that have already served their user well, but also by their history. Often his clothes seem to convey a sense of incompleteness, as that, which has not yet been completed still shows promise for further development.
Martin Margiela once also stood out by choosing the most run-down locations in Paris as venues for his fashion shows, and by serving his illustrious cast of guests with cheap red wine in plastic cups. Although Martin Margiela announced in 2009 that he would leave the fashion industry, his house of fashion continues to function and to maintain a faithful devotion to the style that was created by its founder.
Once you are ready to make your purchase, the white-clad salesperson will offer you a wavy, white ostrich feather with which to sign your credit card receipt. Your new clothes will be placed in a white cloth bag devoid of company logos or markings - an elegantly anonymous form of packaging that is a Margiela trademark.
114 Rue de Flandre
Keywords: shop, store, Brussels