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The Unmasking of Maison Martin Margiela Designer Matthieu Blazy

fashion's quiet kings

The Unmasking of Maison Martin Margiela Designer Matthieu Blazy fashion's quiet kings

“An exceptional collection at Maison Martin Margiela brought the designer Matthieu Blazy out of the shadows. It is understandable that Renzo Rosso, whose company Only The Brave is behind Margiela, should want to keep Blazy backstage – especially since the founding designer so rarely showed his face. But you can’t keep such a talent under wraps”.               

Suzy Menkes is convinced. She wrote it clearly in the virtual pages of Vogue, of which  since few months ago is International editor, t revealing to the world the identity of Maison Martin Margiela's  head-designer: Matthieu Blazy. And, as if that were not enough, she reiterated shortly after posting on her Instagram a photo of the boy with his mentor accompanied by the following caption: "Raf Simons congratulates Matthieu Blazy after a powerful show Maison Martin Margiela Artisinal."


Apparently nothing strange. If it were not that for 25 years MMM cultivates the mystery surrounding its artistic direction. It all starts with Mr. Margiela, the founder, who from the eginning hides his face, disclaims any interview and promotion, attributing the success of his brand to a team effort. So builds around himself an aura of mystery. It 's his job to speak for him.

Anonymity becomes philosophy. Become worship. Models on the catwalk have masks, their faces are obscured, individual identity erased, sacrificed on the altar of the collective. Elevate anonymity to a profitable art form, realizing that it would create desire, curiosity, legend and made ​​a brilliant marketing strategy, secure source of income.

Here comes 2009, the original Margiela retires and the maison, since 2002 under the control of Only the Brave owned by Renzo Rosso, continues with the avant-garde design and, above all, it insists on referring to its team of designers anonymously, presenting it as a laboratory for talent.

It is no coincidence that its members wear white coats like those of laboratory technicians, as seen in 2013 in an article for Elle, in which the chief designer was represented by an empty chair.

Revealing the name of Matthieu Blazy, Menkes, known for her original and independent pen, has betrayed the philosophy of MMM, sending upside down a strategy that, until now, had proved highly effective. Ok, among the insiders in the world of fashion was not a secret that the young man for a couple of years it was the mind behind the collections and of course the revelation of Menkes was a tricksy, even if made to pay tribute to a great talent, that has earned a great echo in international newspapers. The reaction of MMM? No confirmation or denial, just a few words: “In light of the recent rumors regarding individual members of our design team, we ask you to remember that the long-standing communication policy of the Maison has not changed and that MMM does not communicate on any individual member of its collective, as our work is done by a team and is credited only to this same collective ".


The fact remains that the journalist has raised curiosity about the identity of Blazy and a debate on the concept of anonymity in the era of social media, of everything online, overexposure even of common man.

Who is this "new star"? It's a young designer graduated from La Cambre in Belgium, who cut his teeth at Balenciaga and John Galliano before collaborating with Raf Simons until 2011 and will have been flattered by the enthusiastic comments by Suzy Menkes.


And what is certain is that Blazy he is not Mr. Margiela. It 's a boy of 30 years, with the profiles, both public and recently deleted, Instagram and LinkedIn, which retraced his resume and the item reported current position as head designer at Margiela. Hence the question: Does it still make sense in 2014, with social media and all just a click away, remain anonymous? A face is often equivalent to a brand, name means offering a definite object to idolize. It 's the image that sells, identification, and if this fails, the proceeds should do the same. In many, besides Margiela, have shown that this may not be true: Daft Punk, Banksy or Pussy Riot. Their ideas, their work, are the true value. Anonymity gives the substance at the center of attention. And, for that matter, should be respected and valued.

In a world where the network is likely to expose everything, it's the anonymity the true luxury. This is not to hide, but, as many argue, is a way for us all to re-establish who we are. Anonymity as a strategy is going to become a big business, now more than ever is more powerful, or more profitable.

Margiela has demonstrated: sell products, create a strong brand attracts devotees and followers. You can not keep a hidden talent? Suzy Menkes is convinced, but forget that never reamins that, this is not because his work, for better or for worse, talks about him.