Manolo Blahnik and Birkenstock have a lot in common, starting with their longevity. Blahnik just celebrated 50 years in business, while Birkenstock dates back to 1774. The brands have been at the center of pop culture for decades, and both pride themselves in top-notch craftsmanship.
“Birkenstocks are for life. And for good reason — you have them for life,” said Blahnik CEO Kristina Blahnik, during an interview at Birkenstock 1774’s Rue Saint Honoré showroom during Paris Fashion Week.
Now the two legendary labels are coming together for a buzzed-about collaboration that launches March 24.
Ahead of the debut, FN breaks down all the details about the concept, the styles and where you can buy them. Here’s everything you need to know.
How It All Began
Manolo and Kristina Blahnik have been avid Birkenstock fans for years — they even appeared in the brand’s spring/summer 2020 campaign. The photo, shot by photographer Jack Davison in Mr. Blahnik’s very first store on Old Church Street in London, shows the designer — who gardens in Birkenstocks — wearing his Black Bostons with a favorite red suit from the London tailor Anderson & Sheppard. “Birkenstocks have been in my wardrobe since the very beginning (of time),” joked the designer. ” I have loved and worn mine for many years.” In the photo, Kristina wears Birkenstock Gizehs, which she bought in 2004.
The campaign marked the beginning of a deeper collaboration, and the idea was to merge Birkenstock’s classic style with the essence of Manolo Blahnik, according to Kristina. “You’re bringing two houses together that have pure identities,” she said. “One of our key priorities is comfort in a different category.” The CEO visited Birkenstock’s German factory just before the pandemic took hold in early 2020. “There is a whole world behind the shoe. It’s amazing, the craft and the people who make it. It’s about celebrating that,” said Kristina. Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert said Blahnik’s “unrivaled craftsmanship has long set the bar for shoemaking.” The collaboration is part of the Birkenstock 1774 platform, which has included tie-ups with Dior, Valentino, Rick Owens, Proenza Schouler and more.
Arizona crystal velvet in fuchsia and blue
The iconic Arizona sandal gets the Blahnik treatment with a velvet upper, microfiber-lined French piping and crystal buckle.
Boston crystal velvet in fuchsia and blue
The classic clog is reinvented in velvet with a crystal buckle and French piping in color-matching leather.
Arizona crystal smooth leather in black
The leather sandal is embellished with a crystal buckle.
Boston crystal smooth leather in black
A crystal buckle decorates the leather clog.
Where and When to Buy
The first release of the collaboration will be unveiled on March 24 at 1774.com and Manoloblahnik.com. It will also be stocked in all Manolo Blahnik stores, as well as in select retailers.
Prices range from $750 to $810.
The second release of the collaboration is set for June. Watch this space.