Clothes-obsessed people will be in a tizzy today over the news of H&M’s forthcoming collection by Maison Martin Margiela, which will hit 230 stores November 15. H&M has sold many lines by super-expensive fashion brands, like Versace and Jimmy Choo, but this one is special. Because in fashion, there’s good weird and there’s bad weird — and Maison Martin Margiela is generally agreed to be great weird. Customers pay a premium for its uber chic oddness. These clear ankle boots, for example, were $1,095 on Net-a-porter (they’ve been marked down to $766.50).
And a pair of these splatter painted Maison Martin Margiela sneakers is $525 at Barneys:
This deconstructed Margiela tee is also available at Barneys, on sale for $259 marked down from $430:
You may be thinking, why, what overpriced nonsense! But for people who spend a lot of time thinking about clothes, looking at clothes, and wanting to look different from the average clothes-wearing person, Margiela is just the thing for them — as long as they’ve got the money. Kanye West is one person who perfectly embodies this description, naturally. He famously rapped, “What’s that jacket, Margiela?” in that song “N*ggas in Paris” — even though lots of people didn’t know WTF he was talking about, as evidenced by popular Googles:
Kanye wears Margiela stuff himself sometimes. Exhibit A: Kanye in relatively normal-looking Margiela sneakers, summer of ‘09.
Exhibit B, Kanye in Margiela jeans:
Though Kanye wears the label’s plainer, more commercial stuff, Margiela is best known for it’s weird things, like this iconic wig coat from the spring 2009 collection:
And this grope-y top made from gloves:
For the fall 2009 couture collection, Margiela’s unconventional materials included this awesome vest made from average blue pen caps:
Another piece of that collection was this astoundingly festive creation, demonstrating the designer’s penchant for exaggerated shoulders (to say the least):
And from the spring 2009 couture (or Artisinal, the brand calls it) collection, was this spectacular half-pantsless denim number:
Margiela’s models’ faces are often concealed as anonymity is a big part of the brand’s DNA. The labels on the clothes are simple white squares (as you can see in the deconstructed tee above). He never turned his logo into a pattern for ugly bags people only carry just to show they can afford flashy designer crap. And Margiela himself never took a bow after his fashion shows, as is customary, or gave in-person interviews. The famously reclusive designer was never even photographed, which is highly unusual in the publicity-hungry business that is fashion. This rare image of his face that ran in a 2008 New York Times story about the designer’s exit from his label was the first image of Martin Margiela the man that many had ever seen:
The reclusiveness was meant to show that the brand was not designed by one man, but by a group. Now, the Maison Martin Margiela label is understood to be designed by a team. Unlike pretty much every other label, it has no one designer face. It’s latest runway show looked like this:
So the clothes are weird but wearable. I suspect the H&M collection, though images are not available yet, will look more like this stuff than, well, the wig coats. Prices haven’t been disclosed but expect them to be more than regular H&M stuff and less than regular Margiela stuff.
Here are two teaser videos of the collection:
So, who’s buying?