The casual rap fan in 2016 has probably heard of famed Belgian designer Martin Margiela and his fashion house Maison Margiela. Maybe it was the line “What’s that jacket, Margiela?” by way of the Kanye West and Jay Z single “Ni***s in Paris,” from 2011’s Watch the Throne. Or, maybe you remember, “My Martin was a Maison, rocked Margielas with no laces,” from A$AP Rocky’s “Goldie.” Atlanta trapper Future literally had a song called “Maison Margiela.” Regardless of who rapped about it, the designer is often be associated with Kanye West’s Yeezus tour, which he designed the wardrobe and mask for.
In the 1980’s, Maison Margiela was at the forefront of innovative fashion trends. Before Margiela become a who’s-who rap bullet point on Genius.com, he was putting out highly sought after ready-to-wear pieces under the Maison Margiela fashion house, which he sold in 2002. His pieces range from minimal and deconstructed to maximal and avant-garde, but made from the most luxurious materials. Basically, a perfect fit for Yeezus.
While Margiela has been in the mainstream (i.e., tumblr) these recent years because of rap music’s love, his work had been a talking point long before. Some of the fashion house's more imfamous pieces include one iteratia of the much discussed pair of Replica low top sneakers, covered in paint. The controversy behind the Replica Paint Splatter model is virtually the same shoe as the Replica, but with a splash of color on the front.
These were essentially the same shoe, plus a paint drip. The irony here is that these shoes are sold at higher end brick-and-mortar establishments with a $500 price tag. Of course, the cost-minded sneakerhead could have made these themselves. What’s funny is that this style is not new or groundbreaking, think back to OG graffiti artists and the master painters. Paint on your sneakers was a sign your were putting in work.
For example, this is legendary painter Jackson Pollock doing his thing. You might assume the paint on Pollock's shoes wasn’t done there style points, but this was probably an inspiration behind Margiela’s Replica Paint Splatters
As it turns out, the paint splatter has been on the rise this Spring. From the classic Shell toe Campus to Timbos to the Jordan 1, sneaker customizers have been lacing out their kicks with a touch of color.
We’re not sure what type of paint Maison Margiela uses for the paint drips, but it probably doesn’t pop as well as a little splash of Angelus Direct acrylic leather paint does. More recently, Margiela collaborated with Converse on their iconic Chuck Taylor sneaker.
For this, Margiela literally dipped the whole shoe in white paint. If any customizers out there wants to make their own version of this with our paint, hit it with the #angelusdirect tag. We’d love to see your take on that.