The 9 Must-Have Designer Birkenstock Collaborations to Invest In Now
Birkenstocks have undergone the ultimate reinvention, going from a oft-scorned, podiatrist-approved sensible shoe to one of the fashion set’s essential footwear styles. This transition has been bolstered by a series of genius designer collaborations, with the likes of Dior, Manolo Blahnik and Proenza Schouler each putting their spin on the iconic silhouette. Here, discover the best designer Birkenstock collaborations to shop now and love forever.
Following on from the success of their first sold-out collection, the king of high heels is teaming up with the world’s most comfortable shoe again for a second limited edition collection. This new release is a significant departure from the velvet and diamanté-adorned styles from the first collab, focusing instead on reinventing Birkenstock’s classic Arizona and Boston silhouettes in monochrome polka dots and sleek PVC.
The French fashion house’s creative director Kim Jones has put his tailored streetwear spin on the Tokio mule and Milano sandal for a special Birkenstock collaboration. Part of the CD 1947 capsule, these sleek, understated styles see the silhouettes reimagined in black or gray Dior felted wool, with an aluminium sportswear-style buckle detail. Underfoot, you’ll find the sole embossed with Dior’s signature Oblique and Bones motif.
Known for its understated, LA-cool-girl vibe, Staud is undoubtedly an ideal choice for a Birkenstock collaboration. Their update on the iconic Arizona and Gizeh sandals features sophisticated Italian croc-embossed leather and contrasting metallic hardware. Additionally, Staud has created two handbags and 12 ready-to-wear pieces to celebrate the partnership.
Emphasising the modernity of the the cult sandal, the Jil Sander x Birkenstock collaboration sees the Arizona, Milano and Berlin styles given a refined, contemporary update. With a wider, rounder silhouette and thinner buckles in satin nickel, each of the designs is cut from soft buttery nappa leather in black and cream, as well as a brushed sand suede. The collection also includes a new style, Velan, which reimagines the Berlin closed-toe sandal with a wraparound ankle strap.
Staying true to the fashion forward yet functional aesthetic of both brands, the Proenza Schouler x Birkenstock collaboration includes a refined update of the Arizona and Milano styles. The New York label have maintained the utilitarian design while refining its appeal through luxe details — the special pieces are cut from shiny, polished calf leather with contrasting saddle stitches, and closed with a hook and loop closure instead of a buckle.
Always known to prefer a stripped back, monochromatic aesthetic, pioneering designer Rick Owens put his ultra-contemporary spin on the Birkenstock styles for his collaboration. Taking a less-is-more approach, the designer elongated the straps on the Arizona — a standout pair also features contrasting straps with iridescent detailing — and applied a rich black-on-black look to the sporty Rotterdam sandals. The Hancock Rotterhiker is perhaps the most Owens-esque style, a hardwearing, punk-spirit hiking boot with a modernist twist.
Injecting a dose of Italian maximalism into the utilitarian Birkenstock design, the second release from the Valentino Garavani collaboration focuses on the Arizona sandal. The iconic high sides of the sandal are emblazoned with the renowned VALENTINO VLTN Logo in two camouflage colourways, including a monochromatic black and white and a more vibrant combination of military green, yellow and grey.
Central Saint Martins
Birkenstocks have long been a favoured footwear choice amongst art students, so it makes complete sense that the shoewear brand brought Central Saint Martins’ students on board to reimagine archical styles for a special collaboration. The results are suitably avant-garde, from the oversized, puffy sandals by Chinese designer Ding Yun Zhang, to the Brancusi-inspired, space age white sandals with iridescent details by Alecsander Rothschild.
Faye Toogood’s London-based creative studio developed the Birkenstock collaboration from classic silhouettes and reimagined them as three new styles – the Forager, the Mudlark and the Beachcomber. Each are inspired by the idea of objets trouvés, emphasising the minimal aesthetic of the sandal.