Philipp Plein, fashion's clown prince of cringe, continues doing what all great artists do: steal. It's not that he's out of ideas, mind you, it's that he never had any in the first place.

These $1,290 Philipp Plein leather sandals are admittedly not the first imitations of Birkenstock's classic Arizona sandal I've ever seen but they're certainly one of the more heinous examples.

Now, is Plein too ripe a target for lampooning, given his track record of cringeworthy stunts and legacy of dupe designs? Perhaps. But, as a Birkenstock ride-or-die, these clone slides really sent me.

Printed to resemble crocodile skin, Plein's bootleg Arizona sandals sport the requisite dual forefoot straps, but also bump up the tackiness with a small silver version of his dumb skull n' crossbones emblem and buckles drenched in rhinestones.

Admittedly, these are hardly the biggest eyesores that Plein has ever created (have you seen his upsetting NFT collection?) but there's a special kind of horror elicited by taking the humble Arizona sandal to such gaudy heights.

It's also funny that Birkenstock's blinged-out Manolo Blahnik collab costs less than Plein's wannabe slides, despite being the genuine artifact — the Blannik-stocks cost a mere $810 at most, over $400 less than Plein's buffoonery.

Perhaps it's the nappa leather footbed lining or inexplicable ridged outsole that Plein applied to his imitation shoes that bumps the price up past four figures, neither of which can soothe the sensation of wearing bootleg Birks.

But when you've made a career knocking off more successful designers with only a few lawsuits ever levied at you, why stop?

From copycat Jor-don'ts to Bottega Vene-terrible shoes to Fufu-ois Vuitton bags, Plein's a master of borrowed design.

The above shirt is another good example: take Palm Angels's Teddy Bear shirt and Louis Vuitton's various plush toys, mash them up with painfully OTT graphic design and boom, instant crime against good taste.

Alternatively, slap the rectangular logo and Olde English text from a Chrome Hearts hat on an ugly pink dad hat for some reason.

Bonus: notice how the sweater juxtaposes all-caps lettering against cartoon characters in a way not entirely dissimilar to some of Dior's artist collabs.

Not a direct rip, necessarily, but there are some clear similarities and when you're dealing with a pro imitator like Plein, no coincidence is too small.

What To Read Next

*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.