Adrian J Margelist

Adrian Josef Margelist was born in October 1975 in Brig, a small town in Switzerland’s Canton Valais, and studied fashion design at the renowned Istituto Marangoni in Milan where he also got his Masters Degree in record time. The twin poles of his strong home ties and the international nature of his professional career are something that marks the 39-year-old Founder and Creative Director to this day.

Margelist has had the privilege of living in the top design cities over the past 12 years – Milan, London, Paris, Dusseldorf and back to Zurich, Switzerland. Margelist thrives on visual impressions, and his travels – especially to Asia where he has been over 70 times the last 8 years – are a source of constant inspiration and ideas.

He is also a dedicated perfectionist and a tireless worker – the two go hand in hand in the Margelist book. Margelist is an individual who knew where his life would take him at a very early age. It was clear to him at 16 that he wanted to be a designer. For a young mountain boy – especially one from a working-class family, it was a highly unusual choice.

At 26, Adrian J Margelist was the youngest-ever student to be accepted for the Master Degree program by Milan’s Istituto Marangoni. And then began a career journey that not only brought him to the top of his profession, but also led him to himself.

Working at Vivienne Westwood in London, for instance, he acquired the fascination of accessories. A whole new dimension opened up for him. He felt like a painter who had suddenly discovered sculpture. Margelist then spent three years designing catwalk fabrics for the silk manufacturer Fabric Frontline in Zurich, for clients such as Chanel, Dior, Yves Saint Laurent and Lacroix. It was here that he developed and refined his philosophy of quality that only the best will do. At his next station, as Head of Design at Esprit, he learned to appreciate the connection between the creative and the marketing process.

As Global Artistic Director for the leather goods manufacturer, MCM, he headed an international design team for this Korean-based company. Two worlds – East and West – with Margelist in between, as middleman, translator and creative mind. In 2010, Margelist became Creative Director at Navyboot, where he moved the Swiss-based brand within two years in to the premium accessories space. Not only in Europe, but also in China. Most recently, in 2012, he returned to MCM as Chief Creative Officer, where he has been reinvigorating the brand and bringing it to the next level of image and success.

In the past decade, Margelist was nominated for, and has won, several national and international awards. The highlight was end of 2011, where he was nominated in New York for the WGSN Global Fashion Award, as most influential Designer Footwear and Accessories.

At all his various waypoints, Margelist was also gradually developing what he would today describe as the hallmark of his work – the ability to create and bring out the identity and the personality of a lifestyle brand. This skillset will go a long way towards infusing DNA into brands and then turning it into reality with signature style.