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Maison Martin Margiela

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like all other luxury houses margiela is making lots of money from so-so quality staple pieces - t shirts, button downs, suits, trousers, sneakers, accessories. i love the design of the stuff but imo the price points/quality ratio is pretty questionable, especially after the MMM was bought by diesel - renzo rosso-ized.

The MMM quality is what you should expect at that price point. Its much better than most other brands such as Prada. There are brands that are better in quality such as Jil Sander or most of Marc Jacobs (yes this is one of the best made products for designer clothing) at similar price points.

Also Diesel quality is actually pretty good. They might not be respected on this forum. Their cuts, branding, and washing might not be liked but that does not mean their quality sucks. Also, one should note that Diesel is not applying the same manufacturing to MMM goods as they do to their own denim. The quality of MMM has not gone down. Many who happen to know a good deal about clothing construction would say that the quality on pieces has either stayed the same or gone up. Not down.

There I do not think that quality to price ration is unquestionable. You can buy Jil Sander if you want something better made. I like Jil a lot, but its not Margiela.

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The MMM quality is what you should expect at that price point. Its much better than most other brands such as Prada. There are brands that are better in quality such as Jil Sander or most of Marc Jacobs (yes this is one of the best made products for designer clothing) at similar price points.

Also Diesel quality is actually pretty good. They might not be respected on this forum. Their cuts, branding, and washing might not be liked but that does not mean their quality sucks. Also, one should note that Diesel is not applying the same manufacturing to MMM goods as they do to their own denim. The quality of MMM has not gone down. Many who happen to know a good deal about clothing construction would say that the quality on pieces has either stayed the same or gone up. Not down.

There I do not think that quality to price ration is unquestionable. You can buy Jil Sander if you want something better made. I like Jil a lot, but its not Margiela.

It seems to me that MMM doesn't quite go all the way in the quality department as they use relatively cheap zippers on truly top $$$ items (from brands like MRS & 'Feder Y Ca', all priced below that of Lampo & RIRI and commonly used by, say, Costume National) and even the signature leather jackets are lined in 100% cotton. A lot of the basics just look and feel a bit too basic at times so I can definitely understand why people question the price/quality ratio.

Comparing MMM to Prada is tricky because Prada is truly all over the place when it comes to quality, some items can be total crap whereas others can be very good (I find MMM more 'even' in this regard), and the brands also are very different in their use of materials. Prada tends to use lots of expensive man made materials in unconventional ways, they use stretch fabrics a whole lot, but also cashmeres, silks, mohair et al for the 'tailored' mainline items. For the basics, MMM works a lot with cottons and wools but applies interesting textures, finishes and dying techniques, although the main focus is on the cutting I'd say. Playing with materials is integral to Margiela's work (the 0 10 line features recycled flea market finds for instance) but the end result and general aesthetic is very different to that of Prada (although that gradient shirt does in fact look very Prada)..

MMM items seem perfectly durable, although I have a pair of army sneakers that were produced in Romania where a few stitches loosened up on the exact same spot on both shoes, but I have some other Italian made shoes which are of higher quality. I like the brand myself, but in general I must say I find his women's wear more interesting than the men's stuff.

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^ a lot of my Margiela pieces have Riri zippers on them, some have quite a few on the same piece.

All of my MMM sneakers are made in Italy as well. I think they're made in the same factory as Lanvin, Common Projects, Balenciaga, maybe Bottega, Givenchy, etc.....

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^ a lot of my Margiela pieces have Riri zippers on them, some have quite a few on the same piece.

All of my MMM sneakers are made in Italy as well. I think they're made in the same factory as Lanvin, Common Projects, Balenciaga, maybe Bottega, Givenchy, etc.....

Well, I guess the quality is a bit all over the place with Margiela as well then:) My most expensive piece is the '05 biker, which has MRS zippers (I believe they switched zipper makers on this piece around 2004 iirc). I also have some zip sweaters etc all with disappointing trims for the price. It's good to know that they use Riris on some stuff though. Over the years I've found the zipper to be a pretty decent indication of the overall quality of the garment, in that if they skimp on the trims for a piece, they are more inclined do so on construction and fabric qualities as well.

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I think its unfair to judge the quality of the garment based on zippers. Also, lining such as cotton does not mean they are skimping on you. Margiela likes to use cotton lining. The fabrics are not as nice as say Jil Sander---but thats Jil Sander. Yes Prada is all over the place but I think in a way Margiela is as well. Also, on the whole I think Margiela is much better made than Prada. And as for the Prada fabrics: they are mostly terrible. They like to use cheap materials to cut down on costs. Thats what made Jil Sander leave her whole company. Now that Prada sold it to some other company, Raf can make Jil like its supposed and focus it on the fabrics.

Some of the things used on his garments might be relatively cheap materials compared to other things however then it would not be Margiela. A lot of things people do no understand are actually part of the aesthetic.

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I'm just so glad that MMM is catering to guys with massive shoulders and tiny legs, as I've been unintentionally rocking this look since I was 18.

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pe8-10-01.jpg

I think this is the only double breasted jacket i've ever liked.

hate the plaid

hate the belt buckle

pe8-10-09.jpg

I like this.

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i have been a MM customer for a while and the quality has definitely gone down, as it has in the entire fashion industry. post-diesel MMM is on the whole even more interested than before in making money from basics and the brand identity esp is asia.

if you don't believe this or can't see it you are being duped by the myth of the "luxury" design industry. these are the same market forces that are the reason that lots of the designer clothes we buy that are labeled "made in italy" are not really made there at all or at least don't deserve to have the tag.

i am not exactly sure of what MMM's numbers are buy i'll take a fairly educated guess and say that the cotton they're using for the normal button downs costs about $1/yd for them or less, do you still think it's a good deal?

in my mind, the retail price is simply unjustifiable and irresponsible. so much so that even if i could afford a closet of margiela at full price i wouldn't buy it because for these prices you have to say to yourself, "i love this shirt and its design so much i am willing to pay for the name, the exchange rate, the shipping, the offices, renzo rosso's vineyard, etc etc etc...INSTEAD of the fabric, buttons, sewing, etc" and i am not.

i still think the accessories and non-sneaker shoes are pretty nice, but when you compare the company as a whole to brands like visvim or veronique branquinho (smaller and give better quality product at lower pricepoints) it is hard to not shop elsewhere.

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I think its unfair to judge the quality of the garment based on zippers.

in fact i'd argue this is exactly where you should judge the quality!

the new habitual-designed helmut lang is a great example - imitation RIRI zippers and cheap wool on a $500 sweater - what a joke. especially when the RIRI zipper is relatively so fucking cheap compared to the retail and even wholesale price.

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i still think the accessories and non-sneaker shoes are pretty nice, but when you compare the company as a whole to brands like visvim or veronique branquinho (smaller and give better quality product at lower pricepoints) it is hard to not shop elsewhere.

agreed. i have a dozen or so quality margiela pieces from the late 90s early 00s which i will happily hold onto and i see no reason to buy anything from the current line for exactly this reason.

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in fact i'd argue this is exactly where you should judge the quality!

the new habitual-designed helmut lang is a great example - imitation RIRI zippers and cheap wool on a $500 sweater - what a joke. especially when the RIRI zipper is relatively so fucking cheap compared to the retail and even wholesale price.

So you are telling me if it has Riri zippers then you should expect the rest of the garment to be well made. That does not make too much sense. Also, what if there are no riri zippers or other known materials of quality not used in a garment. Then can you not judge?

I have been buying Margiela for a while and it is probably the brand I buy most. I do not recall one single thing made in asian countries. I love how you guys are bashing Diesel even though Diesel items are fairly well made (esp their jeans). Also I am pretty sure all their jeans are still made in Italy. I think most of their production is. I do not think they are outsourcing to asian countries as you guys are claiming.

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Diesel as far as I know, outsources to China. But to be honest, in this day in age, it doesn't mean all that much. Margiela still cranks out fantastic garments!

Most here are arguing over what they deem a proper price point per the quality, which is fine but designer clothing has been expensive since the beginning and as we all know, prices go up after time.

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this coat is awesome:

87599_1.jpg

This is a nice coat, but it is not Margiela's finest hour.

The zipper thing could go on forever because everybody is just arguing over things they've never seen happen and heard much about, but josephr is in line with the RiRi zippers argument. Zippers have been beasted over on SF for a long time now, but it does make sense, why would a maker throw 3 $10-20 RiRi M4's or M6's on a jacket instead of $1 YKK's and then not make it properly?

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I mean, riri zippers are nice as are lampos but YKK makes nice zippers too. YKK just makes a shit ton of different zippers from low low end to high end. But shit, if a zipper keeps you from buying a garment then that's a little much.

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However indicative a zipper may be, it is not the end all be all tale of a garment. Yes, it does indicate the choice the designer has selected, if it is indeed he who chooses them, but as a matter of fact there have been plenty of fine garments without riris and even ykk's that are exceedingly higher quality than most other things on the market.

Poell.

PS. This coat is a little better

pcoatai3.jpg

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That coat looks excellent Jet!

I agree about Poell too, his quality and craftsmenship is bar none and yet he uses things like YKK zippers on his $1600 boots.

Although this has been said plenty of times before in other threads talking about similar things; I think some forget about how much it costs to run a business. From paying employees, marketing, etc. then to doing smaller production runs which of course equal to higher margins. I can go on and on about this...

P.S. Jet, where'd you get the pic?

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when a designer (not martin himself obv, but one of many technical designers who will arrange a garments specs) is costing out a garment for wholesale they look at the design and then evaluate the price point they are shooting for and then they will generally try to maximize their profit at that price point in the selection of materials. how far they end up cutting costs ("let's use this other crappier fabric, it's $1 less per yd...") depends on the brand. generally assume that the fabric will make up about 1/2 of the actual cost to make the garment.

it's not like i have a zipper fetish, it's just a fact that if a company is using a zipper that is a complete knockoff of a more expensive zipper in every superficial way but is suckier it means they are cutting their costs to increase their profit with no benefit for the consumer. rather than increasing sales by maintaining a high standard of quality, they are taking for granted the business they already have because of the brand identity and squeezing more profits out of their existing customers.

price points for designer menswear in the past few years have increased fairly dramatically i'd say, and trust me i am well aware of all the other costs design houses must factor into their costing sheets. i have a lot of very wealthy friends who will drop $10k at the margiela boutique here in la without blinking, but i have as many friends who are similarly wealthy who just won't put up with bullshit prices anymore and only buy on sale now.

edit:

to use an actual example, i'm wearing a line 14 long sleeve t-shirt that retailed for $285. what a joke. when i look at visvim retail prices even here in the states i am amazed at what an insanely great product they can put out for relatively cheap!

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But honestly, comparing Visvim to Margiela is apples and oranges. They both make clothing, yes, but they sell to two completely different markets. The Margiela customer isn't the same as a visvim customer, well, statistically speaking.

I do however agree with you about the bolded section in your post. I would much rather see a $5 increase on a jacket and see that it uses wonderful trims than have it cost $5 more and see a decrease in quality trims.

But who knows what goes on internally with the company; Maybe they need to increase margins because of store openings, maybe sales aren't as good as projected, honestly, it could be a whole bunch of things really.

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But honestly, comparing Visvim to Margiela is apples and oranges. They both make clothing, yes, but they sell to two completely different markets. The Margiela customer isn't the same as a visvim customer, well, statistically speaking.

this is not really true in my experience. anyone i know who wears visvim also wears margiela. they are not the "same customer" but the products are definitely comparable in many ways.

i guess my point is that i think visvim has built a great business with a smaller margin than margiela - they use all those licensed textiles with brand-name riri zippers and everything!

seems like just a few years ago helmut lang jeans seemed outrageously expensive for $200 then $250...now the habitual designed ones that are for me to poop on cost $295 or more. the percentage increases are industry-wide and mirror the corporatization of design companies. big companies lately have been very eager to cut production cost and pass on every associated increased cost (exchange rates, shipping, advertising etc) to the consumer at the retail price level and that is just bad juju imo. (edit: i also think the willingness of companies to pass on increased costs is because people are willing to pay increased prices because credit is so freely available...witness the fact that VISA seems to have foot the initial bill for a lot of dior homme's sales to those who can't really afford it)

bottom line is i have loved margiela for a long time and i wish i could still be his customer but now i can't because i won't pay for it. not your father's margiela! post-diesel purchase there were many changes to the company.

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With the few visvim pieces I've handled I didn't really have a high regard for quality like what is typically projected here. A hoodie that looked like a toy with its plastic zipper for $350? I don't see much value in that. On the other hand, do I think margiela is more and more overpriced everyday? Yes.

Your cost production analysis may or just may not be the case with every designer as I'm sure they have different methodologies in their pricing scheme, but don't misconstrue my point. What if some companies do add riri zips just for the sake of appearing well made? Nobody really knows the answer to all of this conjecture and I too do not like this trend of "corporatization" which ultimately has one goal in mind which is profit maximization. I don't like the prices either and we definitely are getting less and less value per garment but that simply means I am buying more on sale. I can't agree with the stance of boycotting a line because it's not what you once thought if the pieces still continue to be innovative or unique or "Margiela" and still relatively well made. I do however support smaller designers who still have a little pride in their work and keep the production top notch, I think you know what I'm talking about.

Btw, Margiela does use riris on most the items that I've seen so take from this what you will.

Cas, I got the pic from a friend. That coat is for spring.

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lets not forget the rise in pricing is across the board not just margiela. especially to US customers as the dollar has lost strength. not too mention raw materials are more expensive now, all in all it hurts us as consumers because these designers and their financial planners are on top of all of the above are writing in more overhead costs to protect them selves against those rising expenses.

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Damn Gina.

Nah I don't but is a great shade of blue. There is also a lightweight khaki trench and a beige m65, neither of which are as nice as this. There is a real cool white button up with satin placket that goes 3/4 down (still buttons all the way down) and a mint colored klub kollar shirt with sharp rectangular pocket I might pick up on discount. He also has some thin silk they felt and cashmere knits in spring colors and a couple tacky whitish blazer jackets. The pants this season are cool but $$$ obviously.

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I really like the jacket you posted though, especially the color. I saw a suit in that same blue over the weekend at Barneys and it looks excellent but that jacket is awesome looking.

Can't wait to see more of the pieces.

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