The first time I met Maria Luisa, I didn’t actually meet her – seeing her in the showroom at Margiela every season, we’d always been anxious to know her opinion about the latest collection , but I had never dared to speak to her. The day she came to see my first collection I was on my way to the office, at the time in the Rue de L’Aqueduc, behind the Gare du Nord. Walking towards the building, I saw her standing in front of the door , this incredibly elegant, beautiful woman, and in a moment of Panic I turned around and left. She’d come to have a look at the collection – and for me this meant make or break. She became the first person ever to buy the collection, a huge confidence booster and, as it turned out, an enormous help when I then took the collection to Italy in search of a producer. Mentioning Maria Luisa opened literally every door. Her immense talent and open-mindedness, her enthusiasm and generosity were a huge inspiration and continue to be so- her legacy will live on in all those she helped and believed in, and in whose careers she played such an important part.