Margiela: The Hermès Years

Image of Margiela: The Hermès Years
Release Date: 
May 30, 2017
Lannoo Publishers
Reviewed by: 

This is a book that “serves two masters.” Obviously, by its title, it is a book that chronicles the oeuvre of Martin Margiela during his tenure as creative director at Hermès as well as serving as a catalog for the eponymous exhibit that opened this past March at the MoMu museum in Antwerp and runs through August of this year.

On still another plane this monograph serves as an educational sourcebook as well as one providing entertainment and enlightenment. Unequivocally, its visuals and text offer insight into how a brand is successfully reimagined with the imprimatur of a creative director who never loses sight of the brand’s DNA.  

One of the more extraordinary aspects of the book is that the almost totally elusive and reclusive designer has contributed both source material and his blessings for this catalog/book/exhibit. This illuminating volume had the full cooperation of the both Maison Margiela as well as Hermès so there is no disputing the facts and firsthand accounts.

The visual content proffers the astute and informed reader with realizations that Margiela was rather brilliant in his approach and in his vision for a heritage brand such as Hermès. Having not been a fan of the designer previous to the reading, it became abundantly clear that Margiela proffered timelessness to the brand that went unrecognized by these eyes at the time.

Another wonderful facet of the book is the visuals and text draw comparisons between the designer’s eponymous collection as well as those done for Hermès. While on the subject, the text is extremely magnetic if you wish to know more about both of these brands as well as to what makes Margiela “tick.”

Without a doubt this book, while not exactly a coffee table tome, has left an indelible impression on my fashion consciousness. Margiela: The Hermès Years is a must read since whatever your preconceived notions might be of the designer, be prepared that they will be either be solidified or they will be shattered by this enlightening examination of two brands and one designer.