9 October 2017

Blame It On The Benjamins: Margiela Tabi

In the autumn of 1989, on a neglected playground somewhere on the very edge of Paris, Martin Margiela staged a show like nothing that had come before (or has come after): the critics loathed it and the industry loved it. Gracing the feet of the models were the shoes that have become one of fashion’s most iconic footprints – Margiela’s interpretation of the split-toed Japanese tabi sock, the Tabi boot. Further emphasising the shoe's footprint, Margiela drenched his models in red paint, having them leave a path of red Tabi prints against the white catwalk. Following my first installment of Blame It On The Benajmins which focused on books, I've listed the five Tabi styles I wouldn't hesitate to purchase in a budget-less (and quite frankly preferable) parallel universe.


Never mind number one Tabi boot, this is without a doubt the boot of my dreams. As if the fact that it's red isn't enough, the plush velvet construction gives a whole new dimension of perfection to this season's Tabi. A long black spaghetti strap satin dress, red lipstick, gold jewellery and these babies is what I'm talking about.

black tabi boots - vintage / pre-Galliano
none available online at the time of publishing but very varied pricing on second-hand platforms
An undeniable classic, the black Tabi boot is top of the list with a heavy preference for pre-Galliano styles of the boot. Whilst Galliano's interpretation is said to be much more comfortable, the slight difference in shape and the way that the leather wears makes it easy to identify a Martin Tabi when you see one.

A Tabi candle – presented in a shoe box and all – is the ultimate interior decor statement, oozing in waxy chicness. A reluctance to ever light it defeats the very purpose of a candle, yet the thought of it literally melting away into nothingness is troubling to say the least.

Constructed from subtly cracked leather and re-imagined in turquoise and cream, the d'Orsay style pump has a comfy block heel at a perfectly manageable height. The chances of stumbling across these at a reasonable price and slim to none as they're obscenely rare in comparison to the boot varieties of the Tabi, particularly in this colourway – hence the sore price tag.

These Tabi boots are made with a "cement" base, topped off with white, red and orange graffiti. Ideally, I'd style these with a grey outfit, neutral makeup and a sleek low ponytail to give the boots all of the much-deserved attention.

Linked styles were available as of October 2017.