Remembering Martin Margiela’s Hermès years

A new exhibition documents the Belgian designer’s six years at the luxury French brand

Martin Margiela, the Belgian fashion designer renowned for his spare and conceptual aesthetic – achieved through literally and symbolically reconstructing clothing – needs little introduction. He is now the subject of an exhibition in his home country.

Antwerp’s MoMu museum will focus on a rich but lesser known period of Margiela’s: The Hermés Years. The clothes he created for the Parisian fashion, from 1997 to 2003, will be on display for the first time.

The late Jean-Louis Dumas, head of the Hermès family and CEO of the company, greatly surprised the fashion world when he appointed Margiela. But while Margiela was typically associated with intellectually motivated design, his spell at Hermès served as evidence for his ability to jump between classical and avant garde fashion. And to be, above all, a man of modern attitude.