After recent collaborations with Converse and Dr. Martens, Rick Owens has reunited with Birkenstock for spring/summer 2021. The new release marks the designer’s third project with the German footwear label and sees him rework three of the most beloved silhouettes by Birkenstock.
The Birkenstock Arizona and Boston feature extended straps and black metal rivets and hardware, also referenced on a version of the Rotterdam silhouette. All three are in black leather. Additionally, Owens has created extra versions of the Arizona and Boston that are wrapped in iridescent laminated leather.
Launching the collaboration, Rick Owens praised Birkenstock for its reputation of “modesty, health, and consistency“. The designer also explained the importance of black colorings and details, saying, “In addition to our unique extended straps, I wanted everything in black: black leather, black patent leather, and all-black hardware. In a frantic, chaotic and dazzling world, black offers my eyes a clean and crisp graphic formality“.
A key influence for the collection stems from the work of directors Fritz Lang and Cecil B. DeMille. “I think all I learned was from Fritz Lang and Cecil B. DeMille,” continued Owens. “Black and white images are seen through a sheen of vintage film, stories of vice versus morality, and the glamor of the period in which they were shot. I’ve always imagined those apostles dragging their robes through dusty temples wearing Birkenstock sandals….“