Before Maison Martin Margiela's fall 2009 show, the house revealed that Margiela himself was no longer truly head of design. Instead, he had taken on a part-time consulting role. "The team is more Margiela than him,” label CEO Giovanni Pungetti said in March. However, as the spring 2010 shows draw closer, new rumors are circulating that Margiela is out at the house for good. A member of the Margiela design team told JC Report, "He has not been present since last season." The JC Report says Margiela is unhappy with the direction his label has taken under Diesel, which acquired the brand in 2002.
According to our source, Margiela and his Italian sales agent had created a pact very early on that if one left the company then the other would follow. Given Margiela's vocal dissatisfaction with Diesel's marketing approach and commercial distribution, it seems clear that the two are taking joint steps away from each other.
After the label's disappointing fall 2009 collection — which came on the heels of spring's backward models and glorious, now iconic wig coats — critics speculated that Margiela had no hand in designing it. So perhaps he's been out longer than the company is willing to admit. Or at least, spending more time out to lunch — or holed up in a small room painting the office paper clips white — than we are led to believe.