If Birkenstock’s 246-year history tells us anything, it’s that when a product is really good, it can outlast any trend. Slap a designer label on the cork-soled sandals beloved by cool moms, tech guys, and matcha latte-toting Brooklyn hipsters alike, and it’s undefeatable. From its goth fling with Rick Owens to seeing red with Italian fashion house Valentino to getting the glitter treatment at Opening Ceremony, there isn’t a designer itch Birkenstock isn’t willing to scratch. Next up on the list? Proenza Schouler.
You’ll always remember the shoes you wore on your favorite vacation or first concert. For Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, it was Birkenstocks. The classic shoe evokes their easy, carefree teenage years where Hernandez wore the casual slip-on sandal on vacation with friends and the slip-on provided comfort while McCollough chased his then-favorite band Grateful Dead around the US.
Available now exclusively on Net-a-Porter, the six-piece collaboration takes cues from Proenza Schouler’s youthful, downtown cool aesthetic, which emphasizes rich textures and tones, and revamps Birkenstocks iconic Milano and Arizona styles. What sticks out the most are the four new glossy colors in black, silver, white, and ochre as well as the top-stitch detailing and velcro taking the place of Birkenstocks’ signature buckle. “We wanted to keep its spirit, its hardcore functionality, but reduce the whole thing down to its pure essence,”Hernandez told W Magazine of the “off-duty” shoe. McCollough added that Birkenstocks come in handy backstage at fashion shows and in other stressful environments.
For the next two weeks, Net-a-Porter will be the only place to shop the new collection before it debuts at Birkenstock, Proenza Schouler, and select retailers on March 20. Until then, shop some of our favorite picks below.