Maison Margiela is taking its Tabi boot to the metaverse

    In partnership with digital fashion platform The Fabricant, Maison Margiela has launched a new digital collectibles drop inspired by the house’s iconic Tabi boot style.
    Maison Margiela's new Tabi digital collectible. Photo: Maison Margiela

    Maison Margiela is taking its Tabi boot, fashion’s split-toe cult classic, to the metaverse. In partnership with digital fashion house The Fabricant, the Margiela MetaTABI, which launches today, is available to mint in the form of an NFT in two distinct editions – a super-limited MetaTABI in white (consisting of 15 units), and a limited edition MetaTABI in black (1,500 units).

    The super-limited style will arrive with its own custom-made physical Tabi counterpart, linked to the NFT digital collectible, which unlocks a range of metaverse and augmented reality utilities (yet to be unveiled). The limited edition MetaTABI will also come with a custom-made Maison Margiela leather wallet, with both collectibles acting as a ‘mint-pass’ providing their holders with priority access to future collections.

    The project is the first token-gated product launch from the Parisian house. The brand teased its entry into the Web3 realm late last year, unveiling an elusive gamified landing page where visitors could "claim" 24 numbered digital tokens (a nod to the house’s numeric coding iconography).

    Margiela’s NFT debut is powered by the Aura Blockchain Consortium, a non-profit organization founded by LVMH, Mercedes-Benz, OTB, Prada Group and Richemont. Since launching in 2021, the initiative has assisted myriad luxury brands, including Tod’s, Loro Piana, and Dior, onboard onto the blockchain and Web3.

    A first look at Maison Margiela's MetaTabi NFT. Photo: Maison Margiela
    A first look at Maison Margiela's MetaTabi NFT. Photo: Maison Margiela

    A cult classic of the high fashion and art school niche world, the Tabi boot has earned its own subculture of misfits since its debut in 1988. Inspired by the footwear of Japanese workers in the 15th century, the shoe’s distinctive cleft toe has found favor among the avant-garde.

    More recently, the shoe received mainstream recognition after a TikTok video, dubbed "The Tabi Swiper story," went viral in September last year. In Q3 of 2023, fashion search-engine Lyst also named the Tabi as the “hottest” product of the season, reinvigorating the footwear’s esoteric style status.

    But bringing its hero product onto the blockchain is more than just a power move. Like Tabi fans, Web3 enthusiasts have formed a community around concepts that challenge the industry's status quo, champion fashion’s outliers, and push for subversive design. The digitization of the Tabi marks a milestone step for Web3 in merging fashion history with digital innovation.

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