We Margiela tells the untold story of the enigmatic and singular fashion house Maison Martin Margiela. For the first time, co-founder Jenny Meirens and the members of the creative team that stood at the heart of the house talk extensively about the creative processes and unique philosophies of the Maison. Their stories, told through detailed and intimate interviews, offer unprecedented insight into the genesis and unravelling of one of the most influential fashion houses of our time.
The film investigates the legacy of Mason Martin Margiela and its relevance for fashion and authorship today. As the history of the house is traced parallel to the creative development and economic success of Maison Martin Margiela, the film explores notions of creativity, authorship, and financial return in our neoliberal times. However, the insights of We Margiela are not quite self-evident. Interviews reveal that many, now iconic, images and ideas of the Maison came into being by coincidence and intuition, not by preconceived concepts. The house was run based on strong gut-feelings and a deep commitment to taking creative risks. As co-founder Meirens states: ‘When you want to please others and everyone, you will get nowhere. I think you have to diversify yourself from others. In the long run, it will give you the freedom not to answer to the system.’
In the end, Maison Martin Margiela, was one of the earliest contemporary avant-garde fashion houses to succumb to the pressure of financial growth. After the selling of the house, both founders retired almost immediately from public life. Employees and aficionados were left disillusioned. Meirens and Margiela never spoke to one another again.
Co-founder Jenny Meirens died on 1 July 2017. The documentary shows how she was unseen and unknown to many, yet played a vital role in the creation of the house, its approach and style. After Meirens’s death, the international media praised her visionary and trail-blazing work.