Martin Margiela quietly exited the fashion house he founded not too long ago. But Diesel, which bought a majority stake in the label in 2002, has no plans to replace him. The label’s chief executive, Giovanni Pungetti, said the house will simply operate with the creative staff Margiela himself curated over the last two decades. He dismissed rumors that Margiela left after falling out with the management at Diesel, explaining that he simply wanted to retire, which was easy to do without fanfare since he never shows his face to the public or speaks to reporters anyway.
“It would have been very simple to hire someone else, and we evaluated that option, but in the end, what is important is the taste of designer,” Mr. Pungetti said Tuesday in an interview in Paris.
Critics have said recent collections clearly indicate Margiela hasn’t been involved in the design process. Yet since Diesel took control in 2002, revenue has increased to €70 million (about $105 million) from €15 million. New Margiela stores have opened all around the world, the label’s first fragrance comes out next year, and on Friday its first spa-hotel opens in Bordeaux. So if Margiela proves a label’s success isn’t hinged on the presence of a head designer, will other labels follow suit? After all, who could possibly replace, say, Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel?