Martin Margiela is the invisible man of high fashion. In an industry that requires its stars to shine in public, the 63-year-old designer has refused to take a runway bow or do an interview. In a new documentary, out next week from Oscilloscope Laboratories, the Belgian designer breaks his silence.

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words tells a story that begins in childhood and moves through Margiela’s studies at Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts, his work for Jean Paul Gaultier in Paris, and then, with the founding of his own label in 1989, his visionary years at Maison Margiela, which ended in 2009 when he left the business. It’s an ascent to eminence and influence that’s punctuated by broken rules and a refusal to play the traditional game.