Is Martin Margiela Over the Anti-Fame Thing?

A look from Margiela's fall 2008 collection. Photo: Getty Images

When we learned yesterday that Belgian designer Martin Margiela had inked a fragrance deal with L'Oréal, we were surprised. Margiela may put on some kooky shows, but the man tends to shy away from the spotlight. So he just didn't seem the type to thrust his brand onto department-store beauty counters with flashy ad campaigns. Kaat Debo, artistic director of the Mode Museum in Antwerp, explains in WWD,

Since opening his design house in the late Eighties, Margiela has kept a low profile "in a decade characterized by extreme narcissism where designers gained superstar status," Debo said. She pointed out that Margiela never sits for portraits, answers interview questions in the first person plural (for his house, as opposed to for him as a designer), puts a blank label in his garments, and keeps his models anonymous by blocking their faces with paint, masks or rectangular sunglasses that look like "don't" protection.


Also, "almost all surfaces of his stores and headquarters are painted white — up to and including the hangers and catsup bottles in the cafeteria," according to WWD. Guess the perfume bottle's going to be minimal and, er, white.

The Fame Paradox [WWD]
Eau D'Invisible Man: L'Oréal Signs License to Do Margiela Scent [WWD]