You might be familiar with the cork-soled sandals that have become a symbol of comfortable/normcore/loungewear chic and part of the off-duty uniform of folks from Olsen Twins to Kendall Jenner. Now, get ready to see the classic Birkenstock getting an experimental upgrade via the 247-year-old brand’s collaboration line Birkenstock1774, featuring the designs by talents from the MA Fashion course at Central Saint Martins (CSM).
Birkenstock designs by (clockwise from top left) Alex Wolfe, Saskia Lenaerts, Alecsander Rothschild and Dingyun Zhang.
Last year, four finalists from CSM’s MA Fashion course were given the task to interpret the sandals in their own emblematic styles, resulting in designs that include a gladiator sandals-and-boots hybrid and a pair inspired by the work of sculptor Constantin Brancusi. The works were judged by a panel that included British designers Richard Quinn, Mary Katrantzou and Roksanda Ilincic.
The quartet – Alex Wolfe, Saskia Lenaerts, Alecsander Rothschild and Dingyun Zhang – who have since graduated from CSM, were awarded a bursary award, a campaign photoshoot with Parisian photographer Walter Pfeiffer and the chance to stock their sandal designs on Birkenstock’s 1774.com site and at select stores.
Dingyun Zhang (foreground) took inspiration from his duvet-inspired work for his Birkenstock creation.
On top of this, Birkenstock has released its own Archive Re-Issue of the Tallahassee sandals from the ’90s to accompany the CSM designs. Ahead, we spotlight two styles – Zhang’s duvet-inspired number and the Tallahassee – that are being carried in Singapore exclusively at Net-a-Porter.