Between split-toes the history behind Margielas Tabi Boot
If you think of Martin Margiela, you probably first think about the Tabi boot. By his own words, “the Tabi boot is the most important footprint of my career: it’s recognizable, it still goes on after 25 years and it has never been copied.”.
The 🐐 feet is a constant among fashion for longer that you can imagine. The boot that can for sure be called iconic since its debut during Margiela’s inaugural Spring/Summer 1989 runway show — shocking the fashion world with the silhouette of a split-toed boot in premium leather.
Since then, the piece is a sold out season after season & continues to set record for Margiela’s legacy. But the split-toed footwear didn't just come out of nowhere back in 1989. The Tabi's silhouette dates to the 15th century, when a wooden platform sandal with leather straps called Geta was a hit in Japan. It just needed a sock to keep feet warm.
That's where the ankle height sock with a separation between the big toe and the rest of the foot was created & Tabi was a reality.
Tabi quickly became a must-have of Japanese wardrobes throughout the Edo period, when Tabi's colors represented position and power. As the years passed, the shape kept on being a constant in Japan & quietly being used outside of the country — until Martin Margiela’s fashion show.
The designer's first-ever shoe was a solidification of this weird at first sight silhouette in the mainstream apparel as a traffic-stopping & like-worthy boot.
Modern fashion versions keep on coming, like the Kyoto label SOU-SOU with a bunch of patterns and colors of the boot, Nike's sneaker version — the Air Rift — & even Margiela's former employee's Demna Gvasalia brand, Vetements, did a version of the Tabi boot. But none could portrait the allure Margiela's version has.
Its barefoot resting on a heel illusion gets a strong yet sophisticated touch with leather all over it. Tradition meets bold ideas from design to material choice.
Continue the dive into the art of changing traditional ideas right here.