Sotheby’s Paris will auction over 200 vintage Martin Margiela designs on 19 September 2019

The collection curated by Sotheby’s Paris will encompass nearly 220 pieces, and will be on auction between 19 September and 1 October 2019

Belgian designer Martin Margiela was a fashion maverick.

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, he moved to Paris where he worked for Jean Paul Gaultier before launching his own brand in 1989.

Margiela became legendary for his revolutionary aesthetic, in contrast to the fading viewpoints of traditional couture. His whimsical vision of fashion was an insurgency against the luxury world. And his designs, famously impractical but gloriously original, held at their core the concept of deconstruction.

By reinventing fashion, Margiela challenged his followers to find new meaning in his designs, and together with the Antwerp Six – Belgium’s most influential avant-garde designers comprising of Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck and Dirk Van Saene – he catapulted to global stardom.

Even today, the fashion world continues to celebrate Margiela’s legacy. Designers like Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski (artistic director of Hermès women’s ready-to-wear) and Paul Helbers (former head men’s designer of Louis Vuitton and Maison Martin Margiela) were indelibly touched by his genius, while legions of fans still mourn his departure from fashion.

Given Margiela’s continued relevancy, Sotheby’s Paris is organising an exhibition and online auction, offering a glimpse inside the mind of this enigmatic contemporary fashion designer. The collection curated by Sotheby’s Paris will encompass nearly 220 pieces, and will be on auction between 19 September and 1 October 2019.

The lots include pieces dating back to 1989, when Margiela started his namesake brand, and extends as far forward as 2006. Acclaimed pieces from the Artisanal collection, such as the men’s vest constructed out of aged and ironed playing cards, are a collector’s dream – it’s also worth mentioning that fashion connoisseurs consider this garment the pièce de résistance of the entire auction, and is estimated to fetch $11,000.

Besides the Artisanal line, fans can also bid on ready-to-wear pieces. Among the most noteworthy are: a top made entirely out of bowties ($5,650 – $7,900), leather garments from the Autumn/Winter 1992 ‘Salvation Army’ collection ($2,000), and a linen jacket from the Spring/Summer 1997 ‘Stockman’ collection. For something more affordable, there’s the infamous doll clothing blown up to adult proportions ($900–$1,350).

The auction marks a double anniversary: Thirty years since the inauguration of Margiela’s brand and 10 years since his departure from the fashion world. In addition, a documentary on the reclusive designer will be released in the coming months, so keep an eye out for it.