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Maison Martin Margiela Has Quietly Dropped Its Middle Name

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Photo: Instagram/@maisonmargiela

Photo: Instagram/@maisonmargiela

John Galliano's debut collection for Maison Martin Margiela didn't exactly fly under the radar. The fashion world was abuzz on Twitter and Instagram Monday afternoon with photos and commentary. How did it stack up against his previous work? Robin Givhan at the Washington Post even wondered if we would be giving the designer a second chance after his anti-Semitic rant in 2011 if he weren't so talented.

What we did miss, as New York Times Fashion Director Vanessa Friedman pointed out Tuesday morning, is that the fashion house quietly changed its name. It has dropped the Martin, ringing in Galliano's tenure with the simpler "Maison Margiela." 

A rep for the brand confirmed the name change but declined to comment on it. The house didn't make a big deal out of the alteration on Monday, either, but there it is on its show programs and press release, and in its hashtags and Instagram handle. 

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Friedman points out that the whole transition has gone down a lot more smoothly than that other, relatively recent name change: Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent Paris (although doesn't everyone just call it Saint Laurent now?). Galliano's comeback did a lot to distract from it, but there's also the fact that Martin Margiela, the man, was fastidious about operating out of the public eye while at the helm of the house (which he left six years ago), whereas Yves Saint Laurent was a well-documented, much photographed figure. It's a lot easier to avoid incensing people when most of them don't even know what Margiela looks like.