Rick Owens cre­ates pony­hair san­dals for Birken­stock

Shoes & Accessories - - The Month That Was -

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.

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