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John Galliano is working on a men’s line for Margiela

In a new interview, the maison’s owner Renzo Rosso opens up about the changes that have taken place since the designer took the helm

Since joining Maison Margiela in October last year, John Galliano has debuted four collections for the iconoclastic fashion house, all infused with his theatrical flair. In a new interview for WWD, Renzo Rosso, president of the parent company of Margiela, discusses how the house has changed since the instalment of its new artistic director.

“It’s another company now. You can feel the energy inside, it’s unbelievable,” says Rosso. “It was really necessary to hire someone for the next step because Martin was someone who changed the rules in the fashion industry.” And changing the rules is something Galliano is known for too – he was, after all, responsible for the radical overhaul of Christian Dior during his tenure at the house from 1996-2011.

As well as discussing the change in atmosphere, Rosso confirms rumours that Galliano is working on a men’s line, which will be debuted in mid-2016. While Margiela has debuted two collections of men’s apparel since Galliano’s appointment, the level of his involvement wasn’t clear. 

That said, the designer’s women’s ready-to-wear and artisanal shows have starred male models, though the models in question were dressed in the same attire as their female counterparts. Galliano’s fans will no doubt be excited to see how his vision for Margiela translates into menswear.

Later on in this interview, Rosso reveals that the designer is working on a women’s fragrance, which will be released by Margiela’s beauty partner, L’Oréal, in 2017.

Rosso also gives an indication as to the financial ramifications of Galliano’s takeover – revenues are up by more than 30 per cent, proving that the designer is as popular with the clients as he is with the critics. 

“Martin said to John, ‘Make it your own’” – Renzo Rosso, recalling Martin Margiela’s words to John Galliano

“For me, creativity must be free….This is the key to success,” said Rosso, expanding on his decision to let Galliano interpret Margiela’s codes as he saw fit. “Because if you say, ‘You have to do this and this and this,’ you never succeed. With creativity, you can build a company. Without creativity, you cannot build a company.”

While the profit margins and show reviews pay testament to Galliano’s success, so does the founder of the house, Martin Margiela himself. “I’m so happy you chose a couturier to drive the maison,” he said, according to Rosso, who went on to say, “Martin said to John, ‘Make it your own.’”