How to tell real Maison Margiela, how does Maison Margiela fit, how to clean Maison Margiela fake sneakers, and, most importantly… what is Maison Margiela?

Renowned for its androgynous style and avantgarde approach, Maison Margiela is the iconic Paris-based fashion house founded by Belgian designer Martin Margiela. 

Since 1988, Maison Margiela has been pushing the boundaries of fashion with its unconventional designs, deconstructing and reinventing classic male and female silhouettes.   

Read on to find out more about how the brand was born and how to tell real Maison Margiela from a fake!

The History of Maison Margiela

Born in Genk, Belgium, in 1957, Martin Margiela graduated from the Royal Academy of Antwerp, and went on to work as a freelance designer in Paris. Like other Belgian fashion designers, such as the Antwerp Six (a group of designers who graduated from the Royal Academy of Antwerp between 1980 and 1981), Margiela was heavily influenced and inspired by Japanese avant-gardists, such as Rei Kawakubo, and the concept of deconstruction.

how to tell real maison margiela

In 1988, Margiela launched his own fashion label: Maison Martin Margiela. The brand was soon praised globally for its experimental, unorthodox, thought-provoking designs. “Vaguely Dadaist, as if Marcel Duchamp were reincarnated as a fashion designer, Margiela questioned every tenet of fashion and luxury,” wrote the New York Magazine.

The Belgian designer is a fascinatingly mysterious figure, just as unconventional as his label. He avoided photos, refused to take bows at his live shows, handled all media via fax, and answered questions related to his label using the pronoun “we” instead of “I”, in challenging the societal norms of the fashion world.

Eight variations from FW19 of the high heel Maison Margiela Tabi boot

In 2009, Margiela resigned from his eponymous fashion house, leaving the helm to an anonymous team of designers, with no sole creative director. In 2014, John Galliano (previously creative director of Givenchy and Dior) undertook that role.

What is MM6 Maison Margiela?

MM6 is Margiela’s diffusion line, established in 1997. It’s the newcomer’s entry point to the Margiela world—MM6 offers a similar aesthetic to the main line, with a more casual, streetwear-oriented twist. Find oversized silhouettes, graphic prints, and lots of padding. 

what is mm6 maison margiela

Maison Margiela: iconic designs

Now that you know the history of the brand, let’s take a look at some of Maison Margiela’s most popular designs.

Created by John Galliano, the 5AC handbag is one of the label’s most coveted designs. Handcrafted in Italy, the 5AC takes its name from the French word “sac” (bag), and it features top handles, a shoulder strap, and the maison’s iconic numeric label. It’s available in a range of colors and sizes.

what is maison margiela known for

The Tabi boot is undoubtedly Maison Margiela’s most iconic design. Introduced in 1988 and inspired by the socks of 15th century Japan called “tabi”, the split-toe design perfectly captures the avant-garde, experimental spirit of the fashion house, and, over the years, has been revisited in different traditions. Find out more about the Tabi boot.

When it comes to footwear, Margiela has more to offer than “just” the Tabi boot. In an exciting collaboration with Reebok, the label has created the Replica sneakers—a minimalist design inspired by the Bundeswehr German army trainer. At the other end of the spectrum are the Future sneakers—avant-garde, futuristic sneakers featuring padded uppers, and available both as high-tops and low-tops.

Six varied pairs of Maison Margiela Tabi shoes in a row
Now we want our own pair!

How do Maison Margiela shoes fit?

So, how do Maison Margiela sneakers fit? Here’s everything you need to know about Margiela footwear sizing.

  • Maison Margiela shoes are available in men and women’s US 4 to US 15. 
  • On the brand’s website, you can find a helpful size guide with measurements in inches and cms. The brand recommends you stand on a piece of paper touching the wall. Then, trace a line in front of the longest toe of both feet. Finally, measure the length of your marks and compare the longest one with the sizing chart. If you’re still unsure, read our shoe size conversion article.
  • Generally, the Maison Margiela shoes fit true to size. However, if you have particularly wide feet, we recommend going half a size up.
  • When it comes to Tabi shoes, we recommend you wear them with Tabi socks (which you can purchase on the brand’s website).

how does maison margiela fit

How to clean Maison Margiela sneakers

So you’ve made your purchase, and now you’re wondering how to keep it in mint condition. We’re here to help!

To clean your Margiela leather shoes, use a soft, lightly dampened cloth. Every few months, apply a renovator oil, to condition and moisturize the leather. Find out more on how to care for leather shoes.

how to clean maison margiela sneakers

Regularly clean the soles of your shoes using a damp cloth and neutral detergent. You can also use a toothbrush to remove dust and debris.

Remove the laces and hand wash them using a mild detergent. Air dry at room temperature.

How to tell real Maison Margiela from a fake

Now you know how to clean your Margiela sneakers. But how to tell a real Maison Margiela from a fake?

Unfortunately, fakes can be difficult to authenticate. However, when you’re dealing with real Margiela shoes, you will feel the quality. So go ahead and touch the shoe—don’t be shy! 

how to spot fake maison margiela future

how to spot fake maison margiela future

Maison Margiela sneakers are crafted using only premium quality materials, such as supple calfskin. The material of a counterfeit shoe will never look or feel the same as an authentic one. The stitching should also be flawless.

All Maison Margiela pieces come with a white numeric label—the logo of the brand, as enigmatic as founder himself. The label is held in place by four white stitches (made to be easily undone, to render the item anonymous and unidentifiable) and features numbers 0 to 23. Each number corresponds to a product line, and the circled one indicates which line the garment in question belongs to—e.g. shoes are represented by number 22.

Moreover, Margiela shoes are crafted in Italy, so if yours is made elsewhere (e.g. made in China), you’re dealing with a fake!

is maison margiela worth it

Is Maison Margiela worth it?

And now, the big question: is Maison Margiela worth it? Absolutely! The creativity alone is genius!

And if you’re wondering where to buy Margiela, look no further—italist carries a large selection of Maison Margiela sneakers for women and men, at up to 40% off the retail price. 

How?  

The prices you see listed on italist product pages are the Italian retail price, so even during non-sale periods, they’re lower than prices at other online shops or at offline retail stores in your region, a 40% savings on average.

Understand more about italist pricing.

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