Created for the first spring-summer collection in 1989, the tabis boots are an indisputable invention of Martin Margiela.
The Belgian designer wanted a shoe that didn't look like a shoe: in flesh-coloured velvet calfskin, it gives the illusion of a bare foot resting on a sole and heel. With its separate big toe, this boot is inspired by Japanese tabi, two-finger socks-bootees with two fingers, the big toe apart, mostly worn by workers. It also takes up the kohaze flat metal staple fastening (the vertical closing system of the jikatabi, made up of flat metal staples and a series of three lines of doors made of braided wire).
The designer first noticed them during a trip to Japan in April 1984 with his classmates - from the Antwerp Academy of Fine Arts - carried by workers in the street. Years later he learned that the separation of the big toe would stimulate a heart-related reflexology point.
Margiela gives his tabi boots a wide cylindrical heel which ensures their stability, conforming in diameter to the heel of the foot. The height of the heel is designed for a more comfortable arch than that provided by a slingback. Due to the technical difficulty involved in assembling these new shoes, which are made by hand, only one Italian manufacturer, Vetro Diffuzione, agreed to produce them.
Notice's author : Alexandre Samson