Rick Owens creates ponyhair sandals for Birkenstock
Fashion designer Rick Owens has updated three sandal designs by footwear brand Birkenstock, using a combination of felt, pony hair and grainy leather.
The collaborative collection sees three classic sandal styles from Birkenstock’s main line – the Arizona, Madrid and Boston – updated in Owens’ typically monochromatic colour palette.
Each of the shoe designs is available in four different finishes, including pony hair, fullgrain leather and felt.
The collection marks the first time Birkenstock has invited an individual designer to collaborate on its Birkenstock Box project, which sees a pop-up space travel to different global cities, to allow the brand to work alongside selected retailers.
Previous locations visited by the brand include Berlin with retailer Andreas Murkudis, New York with Barneys and the Whitney Museum, and Milan with concept store 10 Corso Como.
For this edition of the Birkenstock Box, Owens has also rehauled the mobile structure, which is made from two shipping containers, stacked on top of one another.
Ahead of the collection’s launch in March, the shipping containers will be placed in front of Owens’ Los Angeles store, which opened in 2015 and features interiors inspired by the imagery of religious films.
As well as selling the new styles, it will stock a selection of Birkenstock’s main lines, and furniture and accessories designed by Owens.
Owens launched his label in 1994, and showed his first catwalk collection in 2002. Aside from recently finishing a long-standing collaboration with Adidas, the fashion designer creates furniture pieces, some of which were exhibited at Sebastian+barquet gallery in London in 2009.
Since the 1930s, Birkenstock has created orthopaedic footbeds by studying the anatomy of the foot and using natural materials and shape to stabilise it.
The brand recently had renaissance on high-fashion catwalks, and has broadened its horizons with a range of beds, which feature a high level of elasticity and individual contouring.
French online shoe and fashion retailer Spartoo plans to buy rival shoe brand Andre from debtladen clothing retailer Vivarte.
Founded in 2006, Spartoo generates annual sales of 150 million euros and competes with online fashion retailer Zalando among others in Europe.
It would nearly double its annual sales by acquiring Andre, which generates sales of over 100 million euros a year, and has a network of around 100 stores and employs around 750 people.
Vivarte, which faces competition from larger clothing retail chains such as H&M, Kiabi and Primark, is restructuring its business to improve its financial situation. It sold its Kookai fashion brand, Pataugas shoes and Spanish shoes brand Merkal last year. Spartoo was founded by Boris Saragaglia, Paul Lorne and Jeremie Touchard and is active in 20 European countries.