EXCLUSIVE: Midorikawa's Traumatizing Toenail Shoes Return

Toe shoes? Try toe shoes with painted toenails.

Taku Midorikawa (cousin of maskmaking genius Shin Murayama) and his eponymous brand do not deliver straightforward clothing. Thus, its Suicoke collaborations are similarly challenging.

Prior to Midorikawa’s first Suicoke collaboration, for instance, the world was oblivious to the horror of Vibram’s Five Fingers shoe (AKA toe shoes) fitted with actual toenails. Toe shoes were nothing new, mind you — we’d witnessed high-end toe shoes already — but Midorikawa devised an all new nightmare.

And the terror is back! Midorikawa and Suicoke’s toenail toe shoes return for Spring/Summer 2023, imagining the Vibram Five Fingers in ivory and black colorways with toenails to match or contrast, depending how much you wish to scar passersby.

Traumatize friends and strangers with your own $300 pair of Midorikawa x Suicoke toe shoes when they drop on March 15 via Suicoke’s website.

Midorikawa’s shoes are viscerally shocking because they don’t just remind you that feet exist but they create this weird kind of uncanny valley wherein the wearer’s foot… becomes another foot. Scary stuff.

There’s a sort of precedence here, too. Suicoke, based in Japan, previously devised its own take on the Vibram Five Fingers and Takahiro Miyashita joined in with his own sneaker-inspired toe shoes but nothing can compare to the psychic damage of Midorikawa’s trompe l’oeil tootsies.

Doublet is also soon getting in on the toe shoe action so, really, we’ve got a mini Vibram Five Fingers renaissance going on here, for better or worse.

All that being said, Midorikawa’s really building off the legacy forged by COMME des GARÇONS, as Rei Kawakubo’s mainline womenswear label once ventured into the realm of foot shoes with painted derbies.

Whereas CdG was illustrative, though, Midorikawa is frighteningly literal.

This Suicoke collab is really just a magnification of Midorikawa’s overall shtick. Its seasonal collections rarely including anything you could describe as “conventional clothing,” for instance, often comprising raw-hemmed skirts, shirts with missing midsections, pom-pom-affixed sweaters, sheer parkas.

Midorikawa is not for the faint of heart. But, honestly, that’s what fashion ought to be about.

Enough of the safe ready-to-wear that gathers dust on store shelves; let in more weirdness. Even if it comes by way of unsettlingly lifelike toe shoes.

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