Birkenstock and Jil Sander have teamed up to design four new footwear styles for the outdoors to launch at the beginning of July. Taking inspiration from nature and life outside of the city, these collaborative designs are the newest additions to the Sander+ line of the Jil Sander+ sub-label, combining luxury and comfort with minimalism.
After Birkenstock reached out about a potential collaboration, Creative Directors Lucie and Luke Meier knew it would be a fit and were enthusiastic to work with such an honest, down-to-earth company. “We chose to work with Jil Sander, believing in the new interpretation of [Creative Directors] Lucie and Luke Meier,” the creative directors said in a statement. “In our view, they have given this important brand relevance and authenticity. Together we achieved what we always strive for–real newness and product innovation," said Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert.
The four new styles include three classic Birkenstock reworks from their luxe 1774 line and one brand-new shoe. The updated classics include the Milano, Arizona, and Berlin, with revisions including enlarged outsoles and elongated straps, thinner buckles, and a matte satin nickel finish. Aiming for a neutral look, each sandal comes in raw-edged calfskin leather or suede, finished with cream, olive, or black hues. Never before seen is the new Velan, a reimagined version of the Berlin closed-toe sandal, with soft ankle straps.
Known for their comfort and versatility, Birkenstocks can now add “sportswear” to their list of identifiers. “We have worn Birkenstocks for as long as we can remember. They are comfortable to wear, but also comforting,” the Meiers said. “They have been with us in some remarkable places, from camping in the Canadian wilderness to sitting fireside in the Swiss Alps. However, the quality and integrity of Birkenstock is what convinced us to work with them.”
The Jil Sanders creative directors expressed how the collaboration is much more than a marketing exercise, that there is a reason for the teams to come together and produce something great. With Birkenstock, the Meiers appreciated their approach to industrialization.
Although the Birkenstock x Jil Sander shoes won’t be on any runways come this September, they’ll be seen everywhere, from city streets to the nearest upstate hiking trails. These styles launch July 1 exclusively on jilsander.com, 1774.com, and mytheresa.com, and July 8 at select retailers and Jil Sander stores worldwide.