And we thought Jil Sander's Arc'teryx collaboration was going to be exciting. Birkenstock, the unofficial footwear brand of summer, is now receiving Lucie and Luke Meier's minimalist treatment, yielding comprising four superbly understated sandal styles. Three are classic Birk reworks and one is a whimsical shape of Jil Sander's own design, all issued under the no-fuss Jil Sander+ sub-label.
Remember when Cathy Horyn reported that Birkenstock turned down Vetements and Supreme? "I don’t give a shit about fashion," CEO Oliver Reichert said at the time. "Fashion is, pfffttt, what is fashion?" To earn a partnership with the legendary German company is a badge of honor, one that underscores Birkenstock's faith in the external ideator.
Only innovative ideas jive with Birkenstock's creative honus, as evidenced by Rick Owens's subtly luxe sandals and the Central Saint Martins silhouettes. Jil Sander opts for a graceful revision of several timeless Birkenstock shapes, honoring the German brand's legacy while pushing it forward with a quirky new style, one that neatly dovetails with the Jil Sander brand ethos.
Part of Birkenstock's luxe 1774 line, Jil Sander's Arizona, Milano, and Berlin shoes are all suitably high-end, reimagined with cream, olive, or black calfskin leather and suede that's equally sturdy and soft. Elongated straps and opulent matte satin nickel buckles reiterate a loungey luxurious feel that pervades the collaborative affair, appropriate for some spiffy sandals.
Lucie and Luke apparently found Birkenstock's Berlin especially intriguing — it's a closed-toe style more narrow than the classic Boston, with a heel strap in place of the forefoot closure. Not only does the Berlin get its own classy tweaking, but it's reimagined as the Velan, a brand new sandal locked in place by elongated nappa straps that securely encircle the leg.
Jil Sander's elegant collaborative Birkenstocks exclusively pre-launch for one week beginning Jul 1 via Birkenstock 1774's website, Jil Sander's web store, and MyTheresa before seeing a wider release in July.