martin margiela 19889 fashion show

The historic Maison Martin Margiela 1989 fashion show and its influence on today’s fashion industry

The Martin Margiela 1989 fashion show marks an essential point in [fashion] history. Why? Because it was the first show open to the public, clothes were deconstructed, models were acting outrageously and the front row was packed with children from the neighborhood. Watch and read everything below about this phenomenal show and how it has shaped today’s fashion industry and Maison Margiela as a progressive fashion brand.
Cover photo: courtesy of Maison Margiela

The Martin Margiela 1989 fashion show – SS90

Paris, 20th arronsidement,1989. A desolate place in a North African neighborhood. It’s not a regular place for a fashion crowd. However, Jenny Meirens and Martin Margiela forced them to come when they decided their 1989 fashion show would take place at this playground on the outskirts of Paris. Without knowing the impact it would have on the fashion industry, it felt good to them.
Before you read further, watch the whole Martin Margiela 1989 fashion show below. Unlike today’s concise fashion shows, this spectacle lasts almost an hour. Watch and be inspired.
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The start of a new movement

Fashion designer Martin Margiela has always done things differently. During the fittings before the show, he asked models about their opinions of the looks because he wanted his collection to look as if they’d put it together themselves.
The show also marked the big breakthrough of the iconic Tabi Boot, an animal-like shoe with split toes. People were hysterical about it. While fashion critics doubted the entire show’s success and Margiela’s collection, the crowd loved it. The Tabi Boot looked like men’s shoes, crafted of thick leather and chunky heels, while everyone was still wearing pumps and stilettos.

Everyone knew this show would become history when the first models showed up. Models were hobbling on the ‘catwalk’ since it was uneven. They wore extraordinary creations, in line with Margiela’s previous seasons. The new thing about it was the entire experience combined with the collection. Unlike other brands at that time, Margiela didn’t use big logos, popping colors, and polished models. Everything was raw and exciting.

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A new form of minimalism

As said, Martin Margiela liked to do things differently. Unlike other designer brands, you will never find a big logo on any garment of the brand. Jenny and Martin liked the mystery around it. They felt that their customers had to be curious about the piece of clothing, which couldn’t happen when a big logo was attached. In line with this, neither Martin Margiela nor Jenny Meirens liked to be the center of attention. These creative minds preferred to do things in an innovative way, and by doing so, they created the buzz without stepping to the media themselves. Today, you can still recognize Margiela’s pieces on the way the logo is attached to the inside of the piece, except for the stitches on the back of the garment.

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Martin Margiela’s influence on today’s fashion industry

Fashion student Raf Simons was present at the show. It has changed his life. The successful designer used to think fashion was superficial, but this show changed his view entirely. He now knew for sure he wanted to breakthrough in fashion as soon as possible.

Furthermore, the Martin Margiela 1989 fashion show marked the end of an era in which designers were exaggerating everything around fashion, from designs to big logos to over-the-top pieces. While Margiela’s items were unique, authentic, and innovative, they required rest. The colors were calm, and the logos were absent. It formed the start of a minimalistic approach to fashion.

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Margiela was among the first to re-invent vintage pieces into new items. For example, he turned a Harvard Business School sweater into a tote bag. Furthermore, in one of his shows, Margiela introduced the oversized silhouette, which is part of almost everyone’s wardrobes. Something brands such as Acne Studios and Balenciaga are now well known for. Overall, Margiela brought back authenticity. This is very refreshing in a scene dominated by significant trends and polished looks.