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Maison Martin Margiela x H&M: Why This Is So Crazy

It was confirmed yesterday that Maison Martin Margiela will be next in a long line of design houses to collaborate with H&M. Although the announcement came as a shock—usually, the Swedish chain works with better known names like Versace and Marni—it's great exposure for MMM. Until now, besides the occasional reference in a Kanye West rap, the cult label has been very under-the-radar.

Founded in 1989 by avant-garde design student Martin Margiela, the brand became known for its highly conceptual designs, like coats made of wigs and cloven hoof booties. However, Margiela preferred to hide behind his signature deconstructed styles. The media-shy designer famously avoided the press throughout his career and refused to take interviews or have his picture taken. All of his correspondence was done through fax and and his clothing contained a sort of anti-logo—a tiny piece of cloth printed with numbers "0-23." He quietly exited the company in 2009 (it's now run by Renzo Rosso, the man behind Diesel and DSquared2) but the label remains discrete as ever. Even its boutiques are often without signage in hard-to-find areas.

This partnership with H&M is fascinating, mainly because it seems to represent everything that the French fashion house doesn't. It will be interesting to see how this very private company will be translated for the fast-fashion masses. What do you think? Is is going to be great?

photo: Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2012 via the Fairchild Archive

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