Ask any fashion blogger, adventure seeker or British dad what sandals they wear come summer and the answer is always Birkenstocks. The strappy shoes have long been praised for their practical yet chic look, their undeniable comfort appealing to a mass audience of shoppers. Now, Birkenstocks are getting a highly anticipated, luxury makeover from everyone's favourite minimalist, Jil Sander.
Best known for its smart, sleek clothing, the brand is embarking on its first partnership with Birkenstock to create a new range of unisex shoes and sandals. Building on its previous success with high street collaborations, the collection will include three inspired reimaginings of the classic sandals and one entirely original shoe. Fusing Jil Sander’s high fashion edge with Birkenstock's renowned reliability, the collection will include takes on the Arizona, Milano and Berlin alongside the newly named Velan.
The three original styles have been notably upgraded, with the sandals now sporting heavy, silver-tone buckles and raised soles, while the clogs feature a rich-looking suede. But for those in search of an entirely new silhouette, the pièce de résistance is the Velan shoe, which sits somewhere between a leather slipper and a modern ballet flat. Complete with rounded toes and ankle bow ties, the design is available in a striking jet black and a sandy cream.
The campaign imagery echoes this nod to neutrals, with the collection styled in understated natural environments. According to Lucie and Luke Meier, creative directors at Jil Sander, the collection’s overall design was inspired by their personal connection with nature and memories of wild adventures. “We have worn Birkenstocks for as long as we can remember. They are comfortable to wear, but also comforting. They have been with us in some remarkable places, from camping in the Canadian wilderness to sitting fireside in the Swiss Alps.”
Birkenstock x Jil Sander is available to shop at jilsander.com, 1774.com and mytheresa.com from 1st July and in select Jil Sander stores from 8th July.