Rick Owens. Valentino. Marc Jacobs. Some of fashion’s biggest names have collaborated with Birkenstock of late. And the latest linkup comes not from a designer, but from a fashion insider: Marie-Louise Sciò, the hotelier behind Il Pellicano.
You might have glimpsed its signature yellow-and-white-striped towels on Instagram, but the property predates the era of the double tap. Built in the 1960s, it was immortalized in Slim Aarons photos of guests living the good life and today draws fashion royalty such as Juergen Teller and Margherita Missoni.
Now Sciò herself is delving into the industry with a vacation-perfect collaboration between the hotel and Birkenstock, featuring dressed-up styles in satin and raffia. (She has been wearing Birks for 20 years, since before their recent elevation to chicness.) She wears them, she says, “literally all day long, and all night long. I think they are genuinely quite versatile. And that was the idea, to create something that you can put in your suitcase when you travel, to just have a flat shoe that is comfortable and looks good.”
The collection is called Il Dolce Far Niente, in honor of the time-honored Italian tradition of chicly loafing around. (It translates literally to “the sweetness of doing nothing.”) The idea for the project came to Sciò three years ago, “but it was like [with] trips. There was a bucket list of things that I wanted to do.” Eventually, she got in touch with the company and made her pitch: for sandals made in different types of materials, that could work for her formal evenings at the hotel and for more casual daytime affairs. Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert says the linkup makes perfect sense, as both the brand and the hotel are “two family businesses with a strong heritage. The unique style of the hotel was merged with an idea of a dream Birkenstock designed by Marie-Louise Sciò,” he says, resulting in “a next-level product to be worn day and night.”
For Sciò, the heritage was part of the appeal. “They’re a company that is very timeless. What they do transcends trends or fashion, although they’ve become fashionable. But it was really out of me wearing them all the time that it happened.” Our pick? The luxe silk-satin pair, perfect for Tuscan coast nights.