Photography Courtesy of SSENSE

SSENSE Just Launched a Line of Merch Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Margiela Tabi Boot

The 12-piece collection includes tabi-shaped bottle opener keychains and a handbag crafted out of a tabi ballet flat.

Outlandish. Bizarre. Uncanny. Grotesque. These are all words that could be used to describe tabi boots, the split toe silhouette adopted from a traditional style of Japanese footwear that has since become a signature style of the Maison Margiela brand.

Tabi boots have been a source of passionate discord amongst fashion fans since they were first introduced in 1989. The divisive style has inspired, in equal measure, a loyal cult following of devoted fans as well as a coterie of passionate haters who suggest the style is so repulsive it is akin to a visual form of the gag reflex.

Earlier this year, we predicted that tabi boots might be poised to explode in popularity after being sighted on actor Cody Fern at the Golden Globes, and it seems our prediction may be coming true. To celebrate the boot’s 30thanniversary, Canadian retailer SSENSE has launched a 30thAnniversary Tabi Collection, a line of tabi-themed merch for those who’d like to showcase their loyalty to the shoe without actually, you know, wearing them.

The 12-piece collection includes t-shirts stamped with tabi soles in dripping paint, tabi-shaped bottle opener keychains and a delicate handbag crafted out of a tabi ballet flat. For those who actually dare to wear the silhouette, there’s a pair of boots covered in crackled white paint, modeled after the boots that appeared in Margiela’s second-ever runway collection.

In addition to the collection, a pop-up retrospective of the tabi boot will be on display from July 4th-18that SSENSE’s flagship store in Montreal.

Photography Courtesy of SSENSE

Whether you love tabi boots or love to hate them, these special edition items are sure to become collector’s items, so if you’d like to own a piece of tabi history, act accordingly.

For more on the history of tabi boots, read “The Implausible Appeal of Margiela Tabi Boots.”