German shoe manufacturer Birkenstock has teamed up with Central Saint Martins for a limited-edition capsule.
The collaboration began with an invitation to CSMs MA fashion students to reinvent the brand's classic sandal with a modern take. Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert, 12 other industry leaders, CSM's MA Fashion Course Director Fabio Piras, and Fashion Critic Sarah Mower chose four designs from a shortlist of 10 finalists.
The winning team includes Saskia Lenaerts, Alecsander Rothschild, Alex Wolfe, and Dingyun Zhang who interpreted emblematic Birkenstock styles in their contemporary way. Their design ideas notably that of the iconic Birkenstock Tallassee from the 1990s will go into production and communicated across the brand's global retail network with their names embossed in the Birkenstock footbed.
'Investing in and connecting with future talents is working with free spirits. A priority for forward thinking brands, especially a democratic brand that embraces all like Birkenstock. The students showed a genuine understanding of design and delivered a convincing end result,' Oliver Reichert, CEO, Birkenstock said in a statement.
'Working with Birkenstock has been an incredibly gratifying experience for all our students involved in this collaborative project. As a course director, I want my students to think that their being creative is what gives them commercial potential. I am very grateful to Birkenstock for their exceptional commitment in supporting fashion education in practice with this rewarding opportunity,' said Fabio Piras, Course Director, MA Fashion.
'This is a unique student project combining historical inquiry with innovative design. It has been our great pleasure to collaborate with Birkenstock, as we value its commitment to responsibility, quality, and integrity,' added Professor Alistair O'Neill, BA Fashion History & Theory.
The new Birkenstocks will be available in select stores worldwide and on Birkenstock's 1774 website from February 2021.
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