It’s winter of 2019, and you’re looking at the photos from the autumn '19 Valentino menswear show. Out of the corner of your eye, you spot them: Birkenstocks. You blink, look again, but your eyes aren’t failing you. Mixed in with Edgar Allen Poe-themed knitwear and whimsy outerwear, are two Birkenstock sandals. Now, more than a year, and one successful collaboration following the runway show, later, and the two brands came together yet again for a second release.
On Thursday, Birkenstock released three new Valentino x Birkenstock sandals, each of which is emblazoned with the Italian label’s signature “VLTN” logo and comes in a camouflage pattern, in green, vibrant yellow, and grey. Like their predecessors, these new styles were designed in the unisex Arizona silhouette — a favourite among both outdoorsy types and fashion’s finest around the world — and feature a black, leather-covered footbed and tonal buckles.
According to a press release, the second Valentino x Birkenstock collection was seen as a “natural continuity” of the styles previously introduced, which, while identical in shape, were more understated in terms of style than this new release. (The first collection included two styles, one in fire-engine red, and the other in black with the “VLTN” logo.) Of the first collection, Piccioli told Hypebeast that he chose to collaborate with Birkenstock for the same reason that people choose to wear the brand’s sandals and clogs every day.
“No matter what you wear, who you are, no matter your gender or social background, no matter your age, your style, no matter if you care about fashion or if you do not, Birkenstock has its own universal language. 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,” he said at the time.
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