Pair of Tabi, Martin Margiela

Shoes for the FIRST MARTIN MARGIELA show

  • Martin Margiela

  • Without label
  • Ready-to-wear, Spring-Summer 1989
  • Rust Sweden. Black leather. Silver plated metal. Black cotton twill. Raw leather
  • GAL2019.1.31.1-2
  • Acquisition Vogue Paris Foundation 2018
  • Palais Galliera, musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris

The first model of Martin Margiela's first fashion show, spring-summer 1989, is wearing a pair of boots that surprises the audience.

The Belgian designer wanted a shoe that didn't look like a shoe : made of flesh velvet calf, it gives the illusion of a bare foot on a sole and a heel. With its separate big toe, this boot is inspired by Japanese tabi, two-fingered socks-botillons with the big toe apart. 

Margiela observed them during a trip to Japan in April 1984 with his classmates - from the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, carried by workers on the street. Years later, he learned that separating the big toe would stimulate a point of reflexology related to the heart.

Margiela gives his tabi boots with a large cylindrical heel that ensures their stability, in accordance with the diameter of the heel of the foot. The height of the heel is designed for a more comfortable arch than that allowed by a slingback shoe. Due to the technical difficulty involved in assembling these new shoes which are made by hand, only a Italian manufacturer, Vetro Diffuzione, agrees to produce them.

>> LISTEN TO THE PODCAST (3'26 mn) 

Notice's author : Alexandre Samson