Maison Martin Margiela for H&M - Preview and Thoughts

Maison Martin Margiela is a name with great repute in the fashion business.  From its start in the late 1980's and then through the 1990's and early 2000's the design house achieved acclaim through avant-garde fashion by subverting traditional fashion norms- seams were outside sweaters, jackets were missing traditional elements like lapels and garments were deconstructed to make other garments.

In the past few years, Martin Margiela seemed to take a different direction.  Acquired by Renzo Rosso (Diesel) in 2002, the secretive allure of MMM ended in 2009 when it was disclosed that Martin Margiela himself had not been with the label for some time.  Margiela's own skill has been succeeded by a design team and given shout outs by rappers like Jay-Z and Kanye West.  Today the label seems to live on the hype generated by celebrities.

With that in mind, it might not be so surprising that the once super secretive Maison Martin Margiela is set to release a large collaborative collection with mass market retailer H&M.  Unlike previous H&M joint collections (Lanvin, Comme des Garcons), the Martin Margiela for H&M line features garments from the MMM archives, reissued for the masses.  But what does that mean for those that really do appreciate what MMM used to bring to the table and not those (who will, without a doubt) line up just to buy and resell the collection?

Our take is you will be disappointed.  The same way that serious Lanvin and CDG fans were likely disappointed by those lackluster H&M collaborations. Many of the pieces look good in the look book photos (see some examples below), but ultimately you are paying for a high-end H&M piece not a discounted Maison Martin Margiela item.  I would bet that seeing, touching, and wearing the collaboration garments yourself will produce a far different experience than doing the same with MMM's own collection.

The Maison Martin Margiela x H&M Collection releases on November 15th with items already popping up for resale.  Retail prices on the collection can be as high as several hundred dollars, but  prices on eBay for some garments have touched $1000, which begs the question, why buy the H&M version at all when you could buy the real thing?  Take a look at some of the highlights below and let us know what you think in the comments.

Suiting and an asymmetric dress paired with a deconstructed knit.

Graphic sweater and leather jacket of belts.

Coat with inverted lapels (as seen on Kanye West) and duvet coat.

Shearling look coat and a coat constructed from two coats.

Men's and Women's Footwear Collection - all of the items are available in several colors.