On Friday, German footwear brand Birkenstock released its third capsule collection designed in collaboration with American fashion designer Rick Owens. For his third go, Owens designed five new styles that are surprisingly understated. (His Season 1 collection included cowhide sandals and Season 2 ventured into vibrant colors and boot styles.)
This season, the designer made slight tweaks to Birkenstock’s “ugly” shoe signatures, lengthening the straps on the Arizona sandals and Boston clogs — a stylistic move he introduced in Season 1 — and using shiny leather, rather than the soft, suede iterations you likely wore in middle school (with leg warmers and jean skirts, of course). “I’ve [also] added a sprinkling of riveting on sandals that could have come from one of my favorite Fritz Lang movies,” Owens said in a press release, referring to the Austrian-American filmmaker from the ‘30s and ‘40s.
Finishing out the capsule, Owens made subtle tweaks to a pair of black Rotterdam sandals, a sportier sandal style that the designer also included in prior collections. This time around, he didn’t add mismatching colors or new textures, but instead, kept the pair sleek and black, with more rivets and leather details.
“Rick Owens continues to play an important role in our partnerships, his voice being totally unique and more relevant than ever,” Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert said in the release. Owens’ last two ready-to-wear collections, both of which gave off post-apocalyptic vibes from a gloomy locale in Venice, have been heavily featured in trend roundups throughout the pandemic, with face masks and “stay-away shoulders” especially lauded. Given that Birkenstock’s clogs and sandals are, too, having a moment (once again!), we can’t think of a better designer reunion.
Shop the five-piece collection, which costs $457 to $525, on 1774.com, as well as at Owen’s online and IRL stores, on Friday.
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