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Maison Martin Margiela co-founder Jenny Meirens has died

By Georgie Lillington

3 Jul 2017

Jenny Meirens, co-founder of Maison Martin Margiela has died at the age of 73. Paid tribute to by the fashion house in an Instagram post, featuring a photo of Meirens and Margiela together.

Meirens, the creative and business partner to Martin Margiela. Was the similarly enigmatic influence behind the brand and was rarely, if ever, seen in public.

Although, in an exclusive interview earlier this year with The New York Times, Meirens talked about when Margiela and herself first collaborated “I was certain we shouldn’t — we couldn’t — just come out with something that read Martin Margiela,” says Meirens. “When people come into a shop and see strong clothes with no name on them they are going to be more curious.” Told not to by their lawyer, the two responded, “we lied to him and said we were going to print it with Martin Margiela on the reverse side. But we never did.” This was the beginning of worldwide success for the creative duo.

Prior to launching Margiela, Meirens was part of introducing the first Comme des Garçons store in Belgium, along with other avant-garde retail stores.

The collaboration between the two creatives resulted in a distinctive world, where designers use Margiela archives as constant inspiration to this day. Pioneers of not only clothing, but marketing, photography and styling too - the pairs work has been cited by the likes of Raf Simons, Balenciaga and Marques Almeida - and will continue to inspire for generations to come.

When both Margiela and Meirens retired from the business in 2002, Maison Martin Margiela was sold to Renzo Rosso’s OTB. In 2012, Maison Margiela was given the ‘Haute Couture’ title from the newly renamed Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode, for the collection ‘Artisanal’ designed by John Galliano - who was later, in 2014 named the house’s Creative Director and continues his role there today.

A documentary and book starring Jenny Meirens will be released later this year titled ‘We Margiela’.