Birkinstocks are made with Birkin leather, that is, derived from the iconic Hermès bags, with vermeil buckles (a variety of gilt silver) and Birkenstock cork soles. The idea does not belong to either one of the two brands involved. Neither Hermès nor Birkenstock endorsed the product. This exclusive sandal was created by MSCHF collective, which Vanessa Friedman defines on the New York Times as “the Banksy of consumer culture”.
The collective (at least for now) has spent about 122,500 dollars to buy four Birkin bags on retail sites. In addition to these, it also bought cheaper copies, useful for understanding how to disassemble original Birkins and best use them for sandals. Friedman reveals that at least two leather shops in Brooklyn refused the collaboration, as they were horrified by the idea of cutting a Birkin.
Already been sold
So far, three pairs of Birkinstocks have already been sold. MSCHF is planning to keep at least a couple for itself. So there may only be four to six pairs left available, at least with the materials currently available. “Birkin bags are a symbol of a certain type of wealth – explains Lukas Bentel, 28, one of the creative directors of MSCHF -. By squeezing it into a truly accessible object, they want to force people to question that symbolism. Also, the pun is really funny”. Kevin Wiesner, 28, another creative director, added: “We really think nothing is sacred in our material choices. Normally no one would touch a Birkin”. What do you think?