Men’s Paris Fashion Week 2019 opened with a surprise collaboration, unveiling a unique new collection between the world’s favorite sandal and the Valentino fashion house. This collection will be available globally, from Birkenstock retailers in Australia and Valentino online. What birthed this unique partnership? What exciting footwear can shoe aficionados expect?
Both Pierpaolo Piccioli, the creative director for Maison Valentino, and David Kahan, CEO of Birkenstock Americas, lauded the unique shoe collection. Said Piccioli of the fashionable travel shoes, “I loved the idea of approaching the DNA of our maison, represented by the individual and intimate world of Couture with something that is so free and adaptable. To me, this is the definition of inclusivity.” Kahan added, “Having visibility on runways opens a door to acceptance with true fashion-driven consumers.”
The sandal giant has also worked on shoe collections with Opening Ceremony, Rick Owens, J. Crew, and Barneys. CEO Oliver Reicher does not take collaboration lightly, rejecting a number of notable brands like Supreme and Vetements. The recent collaboration with Opening Ceremony resulted in lots of glittery glam while Owens went for a more simple approach, including calf-hair footwear.
A New Arizona Sandal Spin
The Paris Fashion Week runway starred two new styles from the shoe giants, which are new versions of the familiar comfortable Arizona Sandal. Piccioli changed up the style with stunning fashion choices. The first, bold in black, has Valentino’s trademark VLTN logo on the side. Models showcased this new sandal in socks and semi-formal suits, showing the versatility of the shoe. It has a leather footbed and tonal buckles. The monochromatic footwear appeals to the practical.
But perhaps the true stroke of genius comes with the bold red leather sandal. The question is will this red footwear sensation make a splash internationally? Piccioli chose the bold statement, adapting the universality of the comfortable sandal to the fresh fashion of Valentino “no matter your age, your style, no matter if you care about fashion or not.” The shoes are bright signature Valentino red with a leather footbed.
To this universal inclusive end, the models showing off the new Arizona sandals comfortably wore the shoes with high end Valentino pea coats, trenches, and tailored slacks, mixing the everyman with couture chic. Whether the key demographic to embrace these new shoes will be the trendy urban professional, the academic Prius-driving dad, or even trendsetting women wanting to make a splash in strong Valentino red, remains to be seen. The shoe will be available in a variety of sizes for both men and women.
Ongoing high end collaborations seems in the future of the immensely popular sandal titan. With worldwide appeal among men and women of all walks of life, these sandals may prove to be the universal and timeless shoe choice for generations to come.