Famously secretive and camera-shy, designer Martin Margiela has not only never given an interview but has also refused to be photographed with only a handful of snaps to be found. Even his retirement went without the usual fanfare, with a minimal press release stating only that he had "left the business".

Martin Margiela in a rare candid

The mystery of what he has been doing since leaving his eponymous brand in 2009 is perhaps solved, with a major retrospective of his work having been announced at France's Palais Galliera.

Designs from the Margiela archives

In classic Margiela style, little is known about the exhibition other than its location and that it will open in March 2018. The man himself is collaborating with the museums curator, Olivier Saillard, who, in an interview with French magazine Madame Figaro, referred to Margiela as, "the designer's designer, one that his peers cite as an example...[occupying] the same place as Cristobal Balenciaga in the history of fashion," he said. "Many stylists have revealed to have been influenced by Margiela's work and wore his clothes, from Marc Jacobs to Alexander McQueen." In more recent times, Kanye West has been a devoted fan, sporting the designer's embellished 'masks' on stage and penning lyrics to his collaborative track with Jay-Z, N***** in Paris, "What's that jacket, Margiela?"

A famous 'Wig' dress from the Spring Summer 2009 collection

If the 14-month wait feels too long, the ModeMuseum in Antwerp will also host a retrospective later this year, focussing on Margiela's time at French fashion house Hermes, set to open on March 31st.

For more information, visit ModeMuseum.

A major Margiela retrospective has been announced