The CEO Of Normcore’s Most Popular Shoe Isn’t Totally Sure What Normcore Means

After last summer, you would think that, of all brands, Birkenstock would be reveling in the ubiquity of normcore. Or, maybe you wouldn’t be surprised if the brand was behind the trend, considering that last year’s Bikenstock Arizona sandal was the It shoe of the season — be it dressed up in Givenchy, snagged right from J.Crew’s “In Good Company” section, or in its OG form. But, the brand has little to do with the term at all. Surprisingly, in a recent interview with Vamp Footwear, the brand’s CEO, David Kahan, says he doesn’t even consider Birkenstocks to be normcore. And, much like we did last year, he asks, “What does 'normcore' mean?” According to Vamp, Kahan might not fully understand the fashion phrase of 2014, but he gets the concept. “I guess if it means consumers want to be comfortable in what they wear, or want their wardrobe to be built around core items that may remain in their wardrobe more than one season, then sure,” he admits, “that speaks to what Birkenstock is all about.”  However, the executive also suggests that the success of the shoes — which, as of last June had already earned a 30% boost, according to Bloomberg — can more appropriately be tied to the end of the recession. “It seems people in general just want to get real,” he tells Vamp of the financially trying period, ”make smart purchases. Buy quality. Buy brands that are consistent with their personal values. Buy brands that they can trust.” It just so happens that these orthopedically sound sandals are just that. And, considering that the current market is still showing much love for ugly shoes — Birks included — it seems like the brand's success will keep climbing even though the popularity of normcore has lost its steam. (Vamp Footwear)

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