Martine Sitbon started her career as a freelance designer for various fashion houses around the world after graduating from the highly-creative fashion school Studio Berçot. She decided to launch her eponymous label in 1986.
From the very beginning, with her partner and collaborator art director Marc Ascoli, Sitbon developed a strong, poetic and radical imagery for the brand and teamed up with legendary names of the fashion industry such as Nick Knight, Craig McDean, Peter Saville or the graphic design duo M/M Paris.
She became known for her elegant silhouette: tenderly androgynous and tinged with youth, the designer stood out with her alternative vision of femininity: the woman she defined was sophisticated, ethereal, edgy, glamorous and poetic all at the same time.
Her skilled use of fabrics and her attention to detail lead her to play with proportions, textiles and colors in a novel way. Calmly, confidently and inventively, Sitbon mixed a masculine wardrobe with delicately feminine pieces: parkas with bias velvet dévoré dresses, sportswear and couture, 90’s grunge and Victorian details… Season after season, the designer explored the idea that style is a very personal alchemy and is imbedded in an assertive attitude, a vision embodied by an inspiring generation of models like Kirsten Owen, Kate Moss, Kirsten McMenamy, Stella Tennant…
In 1987 Sitbon was appointed creative director of the French house Chloé, the designer gave a new breath to the brand during 9 seasons, while being its first female creative director. She developed a string of impactful advertising campaigns featuring Linda Evangelista or Tatiana Patitz, with a relevance, nostalgia and romance unique to her. A strong, self-confident and glamorous woman began to emerge, one who could stride across pages in beigeon- beige pantsuits or black silk velvet tuxedos as well as elaborately embroidered dresses.
In 1996, she opened her flagship store located on 13 Rue de Grenelle, in Paris’ left bank. More than a store, the 300 square meter space reflected her vision and was a vitrine for her designs. It was ahead of it’s time, a sort of concept store where photo exhibits, arts and crafts and printed matter were curated and sold.
In December of 2006, the designer launched the brand Rue du Mail in a 700 square meter space of synergy where the brand’s showroom coexisted with an on-site atelier and gallery.It served as a creative incubator offering a unique experience to buyers.With Rue du Mail, Martine imagined a more grown-up silhouette focused on fine craftsmanship and pattern-cutting, couture embellishments and embroideries. A vision of fashion that could resist the industrial conformity that predominated in that era.
In 2016, the designer launched ”Alternative Vision“, a book published by Rizzoli, depicting nearly 30 years of creations and achievements under the visual direction of Marc Ascoli, and with contributions by famed fashion journalists such as Angelo Flaccavento and Olivier Saillard. A personal journey into the world of the creator : featuring images from renowned photographers such as David Sims, Nick Knight, Craig McDean, Mario Sorrenti, Peter Lindbergh and Paolo Roversi… The monograph is punctuated by childhood memorabilia, personal mood boards and fitting polaroids, giving an intimate overview of her career. This book is a testimony to the impact Sitbon’s work has had on younger generations.
Following the release of her book ” Alternative Vision “, Martine Sitbon is currently preparing – Edition, a limited series of key-pieces, extracted from her past collections, carefully curated & re-designed with a fresh take on today’s fashion.