Margiela's Tabi Reebok Collab Is 2020's First Must-Have Sneaker
The vast majority of high-fashion trainer collaborations are, dare we say it, a touch uninspired. When confronted with yet another luxury label that's done little more than upgrade the leathers and bung their logo on the tongue, you get the sense that they're not really connected to the sneakerhead culture that's' driven this boom in streetwear.
And then, just when you're losing hope for the whole idea, along comes something like the new, jawdropping, just-take-my-money hook-up between Maison Margiela and Reebok.
First, a history lesson. Reebok's Instapump Fury, which launched in 1994, is arguably the original ugly trainer. An aggressive, architectural thing, it looks more like a forgotten Lamborghini than a sneaker, especially with that big 'Pump' button on the tongue, which inflates airbags in the upper to hold your feet secure. Like all the most iconic fashion, it's divisive. Which is precisely why it wound up being displayed in the Design Museum.
The Maison Margiela Tabi boot is as least as opinion-dividing. These split-toe shoes, first launched in 1988, were inspired by traditional Japanese footwear, and the brand's since deployed the style on everything from formal shoes to high-heeled boots. But it's never done it with a sneaker collab. Until now.
This some-hate-it-some-love-it (and we're definitely in the latter camp) debuted at Margiela's couture week show, the part of fashion week that's full of one-off, handmade dresses that usually start at five figures and can reach the millions. This is a strange place to launch a sneaker, which has historically been as accessible and democratic as footwear gets.
It could mean one of two things: either this is a super-limited edition that will launch for silly money, and which normies like you and me will never get to experience; or, it's a clever counterpoint to all the super-exclusive, super-luxury fashion going on upstairs, a nod to the fact that style is for everyone and there's always an element that everyone can partake of. Here's hoping it's the latter. Because I want these on my feet. Right now.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.com/uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.