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When Birkenstock meets the luxury world

The best Birkenstock collaborations that will change even the biggest haters' minds

When Birkenstock meets the luxury world The best Birkenstock collaborations that will change even the biggest haters' minds

The history of the Birkenstock brand dates back to 1774, but it was no small step from its appearance to the transformation that has made it the It shoes of the summer for years. Founded as a family business that introduced a type of shoe with an orthopaedic footbed, 2013 is the year of the most important turning points in the company's history: Birkenstock becomes an industrial complex. The company, rich in tradition, successfully completes the transition from an unbound merger of 38 individual companies to a single group with three business divisions (production, sales, services).

The models that have been the talk of the town in recent years are the ones that look the most unsightly. We are talking about the Arizonas - which are well into their 50th year - with two straps and buckles, followed by the Bostons, their more autumnal and spring-like sisters, characterised by the rounded clog closure at the front and a single buckle. While they used to be a sandal with a salutary rather than an aesthetic name, more recent trend analysis has revealed a remarkable flair for "radical chic". It was not until the early 1990s, when trendsetter Kate Moss was seen wearing the popular Arizona sandals, that Birkenstock shoes left the wardrobes of suburban dads and entered the realm of high fashion. More recently, thanks to celebrities like Kendall Jenner, they are no longer an item of the fashion police, but rather an item to be copied.

Jil Sander x Birkenstock (AW 21/22)

Jil Sander is known for her minimalist and sophisticated aesthetic, characterised by clean lines, precise cuts and a preference for high-quality fabrics. With her interpretation of the concept "less is more"," the designer has redefined the aesthetics of contemporary fashion, focusing on timeless elegance and functional garments. The collaboration between the two brands worked because of the shared national background and, above all, because of the focus on quality without flashy details that would not have suited either brand - the approach was straightforward rather than disruptive and was actually well received. "Quality and integrity" are the reasons for the synthesis with the German brand, a leader in the manufacture of insoles and always attentive to well-being, as well as the choice of a clear, geometric and natural colour palette of cream, olive and black tones, which perfectly suited this union that started with a base price of €350.

DIOR by Birkenstock (2023)


This season, Dior and Birkenstock team up once again to reinterpret two iconic shoe models: the Tokyo Sabot and the Milano Sandal. The creations are the result of different techniques requiring exceptional craftsmanship, combining a functional soul with bright colours and some of Dior's most famous symbols. The 2022 collection was such a success that the luxury brand has decided to design a new capsule for 2023, this time in a neutral but unexpected sage green (after the safer choice of black in last year's collection), in addition to the grey in Infletrita wool. Dior's Birkenstocks (or Diorkenstocks) first appeared in winter 2022, when models walked the Paris Fashion Week catwalk with shod feet in clogs and felt sandals. Prices start at €950, just like the last collection, and we can not help but notice the attention to detail typical of both brands. The German brand's more prêt-à-porter simplicity has been summed up in the French and very luxurious Simplicité, which is recognisable everywhere in the world.

Manolo Blahnik X Birkenstock Women's Boston Clogs (2022)

If we were ever to see Carrie Bradshaw in a pair of Birkenstocks, it would undoubtedly be these, although we'd more likely see a donkey flying. The Manolo Blahnik-Birkenstock collaboration is almost an oxymoron, and that's where the disruptive approach comes in that we have yet to see. The shades of our beloved Arizonas feature velvety magenta hues and navy blue, as well as the unmistakable bejewelled buckle that instantly hints at our luxury brand with Sex & City appeal. After spotting Jennifer Lawrence on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in a Dior haute couture gown and black flip-flops, we should not be surprised to see a more elegant and undoubtedly distinctive Blahnik x Birkestock at upcoming fashion events.

Birkenstock x Proenza Schouler (2022)

When New York's most famous fashion brand FW and Birkenstock teamed up to reinterpret Germany's most famous sandals, the result could only be intriguing. Inspired by workwear and sports shoes. Proenza Schouler has given the classic sandals an urban style. All while maintaining the connotations of both brands. With simple but highly visible details, Proenza Schouler gives the iconic Arizona and Milano sandals a casual luxury. They are crafted from glossy calfskin and feature a hook-and-loop closure instead of classic buckles. The contrasting overstitching adds personality.

When Birkenstock meets the luxury world The best Birkenstock collaborations that will change even the biggest haters' minds | Image 456588

In addition to the numerous collaborations listed here - but of course there would be more - Birkenstocks, and Arizona in particular, have been an inspiration for numerous designers who have ridden the wave, but without any real collaboration between the two brands. Such is the case with Isabel Marant and her Lennyo sandals. We recognise the double buckle typical of our favourite brand, but with a sombre touch given by denim and studs, a winning combination in this 2023 that Ganni also proposed with its pointed leather ballet flats. Of course, the price of this model is about three times the standard Birkenstock price, at 390€, for blue calfskin buckles and a 100% cotton material for the rest of the material.


Let us get ready for 21 July 2023, the date now fixed in all our minds for the release of Greta Gerwig's new film Barbie. The protagonists of a rather emblematic scene will be precisely the Birkenstock Arizona. Indeed, the trailer for the film shows us a Barbie who, now humanised in the typical dramas of life between one outfit and another, has to choose between a pair of heels and a pair of Birkenstocks, dwarfing the perfection she has experienced up to that point. Of course he will choose the shoe with the heel, natch.

So... even though we have explored the famous German sandal in all its forms and intentions, it's clear that it's seen by most as the stereotype of the grungy summer shoe, radically chic or not, it's still the victim of a stylistic misconception that we want to dispel. But in the end, is not it this very borderline that allows us to fully appreciate it?