If I told you my mom owns 16+ pairs of tabi boots, would you think this post is unbiased? Because I’ll tell you right now that I love them (clearly I’ve been seasoned) and I’m so happy they’re here in a silhouette for the male foot. Quick: cue a brief moment in MMM history.
The “tabi” boot is essentially what made Maison Martin Margiela an icon. Inspired by the Japanese one-toe tabi sock (a unisex item, mind you), Martin Margiela introduced the shoe down his first runway in ‘89. And to make even more of a statement (since the split-toe silhouette isn’t something your eye gravitates to immediately), he sent his models down the white clothed catwalk with tabi boots doused in red paint, leaving behind — you guessed it — “tabi” footprints. He wanted to make an impact, being the secret marketing and branding genius he is. One season later for A/W, those footprints became a print for a vest; and to this day, you can see “tabi” footprints in Maison Margiela boutiques stained into the white carpets.
Flash forward 18 years and now — finally — we have a tabi boot for men. I’m not sure what took so long. Maybe it was in Margiela’s mind before his resignation in 2009 to actually see it through, or maybe it took someone like John Galliano to prioritize the silhouette donned by men. Or perhaps we’re finally in a time where we can tackle and collectively blur harsh lines between femininity and masculinity; that and men nowadays being way more open to fashion that they’ve ever been.
The Martin Margiela tabi boot for men can be purchased here.