Forbes India – Fashion: Birkenstocks: From ugly shoes to ultimate luxury must-haves


Sandals and clogs from the Birkenstock and Manolo Blahnik collaboration. Image: Stefan Sieler

youGly, old-fashioned, has-been, even downright corny… Birkenstocks, despite their iconic status, have seen it everywhere over the decades. As coveted as they are mocked, these iconic sandals are now the most desirable shoes of the year thanks to five-star collaborations with the biggest luxury houses.

These are THE comfort shoes par excellence, shoes that have asserted their lack of style while transcending current trends. This has often earned them the status of ugly, even old-fashioned shoes, even though they are worn by virtually everyone as soon as the weather warms up. But at almost 250 years old, Birkenstocks take on a new spin, like their counterparts – Crocs, jelly sandals, etc. – getting rid of the camping atmosphere for the refinement of the parade. So forget the beach, these famous sandals are now becoming fashion icons par excellence.

The rise of all things ugly – which has become the pinnacle of chic over the past year – probably has something to do with this rise. Then again, maybe it’s more about looks and pretense. After all, today, who doesn’t have a pair of Birkenstocks in their closet? Or who hasn’t had their eye on one of the brand’s countless pairs of sandals, synonymous with extreme comfort? But it’s probably harder to confess a secret love for the hardcore camper look than for a pair of Birkenstocks customized by Carrie Bradshaw’s favorite shoemaker. And that’s the difference.

The Birkenstocks slip into the velvet

Manolo Blahnik, the creator of the most coveted stiletto heels on the planet, is now helping to transform the status of these classic beach shoes, thanks to a most luxurious collaboration. It brings color, shiny details and premium materials, the perfect combo to elevate these humble sandals to icon of the year. With this partnership, the 200-year-old brand gets the most stunning facelift, shining in unprecedented style.

Among the models revisited by Manolo Blahnik, let’s mention the ‘Arizona’ sandal, perhaps the brand’s most emblematic style, which comes in a choice of fuchsia or blue velvet, or soft black leather. Everything is adorned with luxurious crystals, a symbol of unparalleled chic. These details, materials and colors are also found on the ‘Boston’ clog, which will undoubtedly make you shine on the most glamorous summer evenings, from Saint-Malo to Saint-Tropez, and perhaps even a campsite in Cornwall. . The first part of the collab should land in a few days…

But that’s not all. Manolo Blahnik, who says he’s always had Birkenstocks in his wardrobe, isn’t the only designer with a soft spot for sandals. Earlier in the year, however, it was on the Dior Homme catwalk that the shoe made its appearance! Kim Jones himself has dressed Birkenstocks for the summer (though from the Fall/Winter 2022 collection, the models will be available in June), covering them in felt or suede – again the choice is yours – but also, for certain creations, embroidery flowers which is the height of elegance. What was Birkenstocks being ugly?

After having conquered the beaches and campsites of the world, the sensible sandal could soon impose itself in the most select parties of the great capitals of fashion. Ugly shoes are clearly and definitely living their best life right now.

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