The sandals of freedom. A value more powerful than ugliness. This is the strength of Birkenstock, which has sold 30 mln pairs in 2022. Reiterating the comfort of the sandal (made with lots of Italian leather) is CEO Oliver Reichert in an interview with Corriere della Sera. The sandal is now a fashion icon coveted by brands. In 2018, the first co-lab was with Rick Owens. Today, there are 13. From Dior to Manolo Blahnik, the Teutonic sandals, often described as pretty ugly, have also become super luxury items.
A 30 mln pairs phenomenon
Speaking of collaborations, there are those who get a glimpse of one with Gucci. The clue would be a shot from the set of “Sex and the City” where Sarah Jessica Parker (aka Carrie Bradshaw) is wearing a pair of Double G branded slippers that clearly refer to the Boston model by Birkenstock. US entrepreneur and model Kylie Jenner, on the other hand, asked Hermès to transform one of her old Birkin’s into a pair of Arizona’s, to be renamed Birkinstocks. “I arrived in 2009, I accompanied Birkenstock from the heirs to its acquisition in 2021 by LVMH,” CEO Reichert recalled to Corriere della Sera, “through L Catterton and Agache, the Arnault’s holding company. From Spartan, these sandals are now a symbol of creativity, freedom and inclusiveness”.
Because, luxury collaborations aside, the inescapability of Birkenstocks remains. Even for fashion addicts and business people, who are ready to use the German sandals on all occasions. A new collection is already ready for spring/summer 2023: Birkenstock 1774, which will be launched in March. It is based on the year in which the German company was founded, and will be a showcase for the special projects realised by the in-house creative team. The collection includes five new models in four colours.