Birkenstock X Proenza Schouler Dropped A Genderless Capsule Collection Advertisement
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Birkenstock X Proenza Schouler Dropped A Genderless Capsule Collection

Add a splash of colour to your beloved Birkenstocks!

By Ruman Baig  August 12th, 2021

Birkenstock and New York-based ready-to-wear brand Proenza Schouler, founded by Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez launched a new unisex capsule collection. They reinterpreted the designs of their original collaboration and experimented with colours. Combining their common love for form and functionality, the line is utilitarian-chic with a side of athleisure ease. Crafted with polished, specchio leather, the footwear features a hook-and-loop closure in place of hardware buckles and are finished with industrial contrast topstitching to add a new definition to the classic Birkenstock sandals, Arizona and Milano.

Known for their contemporary ensembles influenced by art and culture, the designers of Proenza Schouler have infused their expertise about traditional tailoring techniques and custom-developed fabric into this partnership. In an exclusive conversation with ELLE, the avant-garde designers talk about the creative process, balancing the aesthetic of each brand and introducing their design language into the already established footwear legacy of Birkenstock. 

ELLE: Birkenstock has a trademark style, as designers, was it difficult to innovate because of its signature imagery?

Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez: We both feel so much personal history with Birkenstocks. We each grew up wearing them throughout our childhoods, and as we went off to college in the 90s they felt like such an iconic part of our wardrobes, but we really see them as timeless. Our first collaboration with Birkenstock launched at the start of the pandemic, which ended up being great for us personally as we spent quarantine in the country wearing our Birkenstocks. Now that the world is opening up, we wanted to make sure this collection still has the urban quality that is true to both Proenza Schouler and Birkenstock. We want these shoes to be worn, not just around the country or on the beach, but we wanted to create something that is polished and durable enough for everyday life around the city.

ELLE: Experimentation with colour has been explored for this collaboration, could you tell us more about that? 

JM & LH: With things returning towards normalcy, it felt right to introduce some colors into the mix. We wanted to explore a palette that felt neutral and wearable, but could also meld easily within different environments. The transitional palette was important to us, and we chose colors that can take the customer from late summer into fall.  both of us love the rustic burgundy and ecru, the colours have a sense of ease and have a fresh vibe to it.

Birkenstock

Birkenstock X Proenza Schouler

ELLE: Birkenstock is known for its signature sandal style; how did you reimagine the new design?

JM & LH: Before we started our first collaboration, Birkenstock sent us a catalogue of their styles from the past 250 years or so, it was mind-blowing and inspiring to understand their history. We used that as a starting point, but we were surprised that velcro had never been done before. We also discovered that that the polished leather really elevated the shoe, and allowed it to become more of a metropolitan, city sandal. As New Yorkers, this n quality is something we have always responded to, so we wanted to design something that felt true to that.

Birkenstock

Birkenstock X Proenza Schouler

ELLE: In what different ways have you incorporated the Proenza Schouler aesthetic in this collection? 

JM & LH: Our brand aesthetic has always been rooted in New York City, so we really wanted to inject the concrete jungle quality into the collection. Birkenstocks have always been known for comfort and we wanted to stay true to that, but we wanted this collection to feel a bit tougher and more polished. From an aesthetic perspective, contrast topstitch has always been a label code for us, we use it in a lot of our pret and accessory pieces, so adding that element really allowed us to put our stamp on the styles. One of our favorite styles from this collection is the Arizona sandal in our signature Proenza Schouler cobalt blue. But we love how everything turned out, it feels like a true collaboration between like-minded brands.

Birkenstock

Birkenstock X Proenza Schouler

ELLE: As designers, what was your favourite part about this collaboration?

JM & LH: We love that this collaboration is unisex. We’re always so inspired to see how people make the shoes fit within their lives- it’s one of our favourite parts of designing. It’s fulfilling to see how the products we create exist within the real world, and Birkenstocks are such a great example of that. They’re so versatile within our own wardrobes, and we’re always inspired to see how people make them their own.

Birkenstock

Birkenstock X Proenza Schouler

The Birkenstock x Proenza Schouler drop launches globally and in India on 13th August 2021 and will be exclusively available on their website.

Picture Courtesy: Birkenstock