how toWednesday, November 16, 2022

Maison Margiela Tabi Shoes: The Making Of An Icon

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A now-iconic brand signature, the Maison Margiela Tabi has become a staple on the runway season after season — and on our social feeds — since 1988, when it opened Martin Margiela’s debut show. The history of the Tabi and its distinctive split-toe design dates back to 15th century Japan, where it started out as socks worn with thonged footwear. Margiela, who was often inspired by Japanese designers like Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto, started to work with the silhouette after a trip to Japan with the famous Antwerp Six. Now, Maison Margiela’s Tabi shoe comes in an array of silhouettes and colorways, and is known for its surprisingly comfortable fit — especially when worn with Tabi socks. Here, we highlight the brand’s five key silhouettes, from heeled ankle boots and slingbacks to loafers, ballerina flats and sneakers.

The painted boot

 

The ankle boot was the first Tabi offering from Martin Margiela, debuting on the runway in 1988 before evolving into a clear brand signature. In an iconic moment in the brand’s history, the show’s finale saw the models walking in Tabi boots dipped in red paint, leaving footprints on the catwalk. Fast forward to this season and the distressed, painted effect is back — a quintessentially offbeat Margiela detail — still with the same pull-on style, with hook and eye fastenings on the inside of the ankle. Take your cues from Tabi-fan Chloë Sevigny and style these with wide-leg jeans, a classic shirt and a slightly oversized coat for a look that will work at the office and for strolls in the city.

 

SIZING: 

FIT: Fits true to size. We recommend you get your regular size.

COMFORT: Wear with Tabi socks or insoles for maximum comfort.

CARE: Use a strong waterproof spray to maintain the distressed paint effect.

 

Maison Margiela Tabi leather ankle boots

Maison Margiela

Tabi leather ankle boots

$1,512

The collapsible-heel loafer

 

Although they will always have a timeless, seasonless quality, loafers are having a real moment right now. If you’re looking for a pair that will work extra hard, look to Maison Margiela’s new collapsible-heel Tabi loafer — a great option if you want to alternate throughout the day, depending on your outfit — or for those looking for something a little bit more classic, the brand also offers a hard-back style. Wear either with a skirt and jacket co-ord for a look that will transition seamlessly from day to night.

 

SIZING:

FIT: Fits true to size. We recommend you get your regular size.

COMFORT: Wear the hardback style with Tabi socks for maximum comfort.

CARE: Store your loafers in their original box and dust bag, ideally with a shoe tree to keep the leather from creasing.

The trending flat

 

Martin Margiela’s initial concept for the Tabi was to provide footwear that looked like you were barefoot. Enter the ballet flat: this Fashion Month’s breakout star. In traditional soft pink satin, this split-toe pair walks the line between classic romance and stylish statement. Team yours with a fluid pleated skirt to complete a refined look.

 

SIZING: 

FIT: Fits true to size. We recommend you get your regular size.

COMFORT: Due to their very flat soles, ballet flats don't provide your foot with a lot of support — we suggest avoiding all-day wear.

CARE: Avoid wearing in wet weather and store in their original box and dust bag.

The metallic slingback

 

The Tabi slingback made its way onto the runway soon after the Tabi boots’ success. It features the same solid round heel but with the addition of a slingback buckle for an elegant, more dressed-up look. Complete with a metallic finish, these Tabi slingbacks will add a touch of sparkle to any outfit — a no-brainer addition to your partywear wardrobe.

 

SIZING:

FIT: Fits true to size. We recommend you get your regular size.

COMFORT: Wear with Tabi socks for maximum comfort.

CARE: Use a waterproofing spray before wearing outside to help them stay box-fresh for longer.

The retro sneaker

 

Due to its universal appeal, the split-toe Tabi became part of Maison Margiela’s menswear collection in 2017 thanks to creative director John Galliano, who offered the style in boots, slip-ons, loafers, sneakers and more. Crafted from cool canvas in a range of different colorways, the sneaker is highly versatile; the perfect pairing with straight-leg track pants or jeans.

 

SIZING: 

FIT: Fits true to size. We recommend you get your regular size.

COMFORT: Wear with Tabi socks for maximum comfort.

CARE: Clean mud and grass stains with warm soapy water and a soft bristle brush.

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