Will Martin Margiela Finally Be Unmasked?

The fashion world’s most mysterious designer gets a new documentary

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No fashion personality has been shrouded in mystery like Martin Margiela. He’s fashion’s most elusive figure, but a new documentary might finally shed some light on the Belgian designer beyond his iconic four white stitches. 

Back in 2018, Variety broke the news of the film, and a few more details were released in July. Since then, both the production and fashion house have kept silent on the matter. But it looks like the film finally has a release date.  

According to an Instagram page, the highly-anticipated film will make its premiere at the Doc NYC film festival on November 8. And as announced last July, the film’s title was changed from ‘Without Compromise’ to ‘Margiela in His Own Words’. 

The feature-doc is directed by Reiner Holzemer (who was also behind the acclaimed documentary ‘Dries’, which trailed the story of Dries Van Noten), the film is co-produced by Aminata Sambe with music by Belgian band dEuS. 

The film marks Margiela’s first time in the public eye, having managed to stay under the radar since launching his eponymous label in 1988. The new documentary traces the designer’s life, from his involvement in the avant-garde Antwerp movement to his current success. According to NYC doc’s description of the film, we will see Margiela himself, “dig into his meticulous and idiosyncratic personal archives to reflect on his revolutionary career and legacy.”

The film comes after the designer’s Paris exhibition gave us a glimpse into the world of Martin Margiela himself for the first time, featuring portraits of anonymous women who worked at the fashion house shot by Johnathan Hallam – who collaborated with Margiela from 1997 to 2008. 

The documentary isn’t the first dedicated to the designer. ‘The Artist is Absent’ which was released in 2015, used archived footage to tell Margiela’s story, whilst a 2017 documentary entitled ‘We Margiela’ featured Maison Martin Margiela’s creative team and shed a light on the house’s creative process. 

But seeing as Margiela himself is involved with the making of the upcoming Holzemer-directed documentary, it’s a pretty big deal. 

We are thrilled to work on the story of such an enigmatic ​and mysterious ​designer; and even more so given that extraordinarily, it’s the first time Margiela has agreed to be part of any film about his life or work,” Ana Vicente Dogwoof’s head of sales told Variety

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