It’s often said that if you want to judge someone’s style, a simple glance at their footwear is enough. In a year teeming with ‘it shoes,’ ranging from the omnipresent Adidas Sambas to the sultry strappy stilettos by Femme LA, there emerged a singular footwear choice that captured attention, sparking conversations and setting trends: the infamous Margiela Tabis. Though divisive, the Tabis dominated the fashion landscape in 2023, leaving an enduring impact on both celebrity closets and the hearts of style aficionados.
A Split-Toe Narrative
The split-toe was first presented by Martin Margiela, a Belgian designer during his first show in 1988. The split-toe silhouette was not only stylish but also encapsulated an overall perspective. The literal meaning of tabi is a foot bag and it refers to the traditional Japanese footwear. The big toe is separated from the other toes and is parted from the rest of them.
This was purposefully designed to promote balance by separating the big toe and conforming to the principles of reflexology as a means to having a clear mind. Tabi is one of the iconic styles of Margiela that is still popular today. There are different versions, such as boots, leather sandals, loafers, and Tabi ballet flats.
The Tabi Movement
This year witnessed a multitude of celebrities confidently sporting Tabis. Dua Lipa strutted through the streets of New York City in black Mary Jane Tabis paired with an oversized coat. Cardi B made a bold statement in tan boot versions, effortlessly blending the Tabi with a distressed leather jacket.
Even Pedro Pascal graced the red carpet with Tabi loafers, seamlessly incorporating them into his ensemble. The influence of Tabi went beyond the celebrity sphere, earning the coveted top spot on the Lyst Index for quarter three.