Born in Boxtel, Wanders graduated cum laude from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Institute of the Arts Arnhem in 1988 after being expelled from the Design Academy Eindhoven.
In 2000 he opened his studio in Amsterdam, gaining attention in 1996 with his Knotted Chair, which paired high tech materials with ‘low tech’ production methods. In 2001 Wanders co-founded the design label Moooi, of which he is co-owner and art director. In 2014 in Wanders works as a product and interior designer and art director working in his Powerhouse studio with around 50 international design specialists. They have realized over 1700+ projects for private clients and premium brands such as Alessi, Louis Vuitton, Bacarrat, Bisazza, KLM, Flos, Swarovski, Puma, among others. The New York Times dubbed Wanders as the "Lady Gaga of Design" in 2011 for being unconventional, creative, and full of energy. Many of his designs humanism and historical influences with innovative materials.
Wanders received various design prizes, including the Rotterdam Design Prize and the Kho Liang Ie Prize. He has lectured at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Limn, the Design Academy, Nike, IDFA, FutureDesignDays, and at many of the world's most prestigious design academies. In July 2002 Business Week selected Marcel Wanders as one of Europe’s ’25 leaders of change’. Wanders is an Advisory Board member of THNK School of Creative Leadership.