Behold, the “Birkinstock.”
Created by MSCHF, the Brooklyn, N.Y., collective that brought us the “Jesus shoe,” aka Nike Air Max 97’s with actual holy water in them, the controversial design label is back with “the most exclusive sandal ever made.”
The sandal appears to be similar to Birkenstock’s classic Arizona sandal, tapping a classic cork-and-rubber sole. But instead of a suede or leather upper, its top is made from torn-up Hermès Birkin bags. The collaboration is from neither the footwear company or the French fashion house.
“When brands collaborate they conflate, crossover and context-collapse. A logo gets replaced here, a brand color there. In the end, what of the flagship product remains? Birkinstocks, though are no collaboration perhaps we might properly call them a transubstantiation,” declares MSCHF’s online manifesto.
Available for purchase only by request online, the pricey ugly sandal is displayed in four different styles on Birkinstock.shoes.
“The process of commodity production at every step a set of component resources goes in and a slightly more worked or assembled product comes out,” the manifesto continues. “Today Birkin bags appreciate with an average of 14% annual return, consistently beating the S&P 500-by this metric, just as gold, though shiny, is no longer the basis of currency, we can look to the Birkin bag itself as the new luxury raw material par excellence.”
With uppers made from exotic leathers such as crocodile and ostrich, these pricey shoes may be one of the most expensive ugly sandals made to date.
How exactly are these fancy sandals made? According to MSCHF, the bags are first disassembled, then flattened to cut the pattern of an upper. Then, the leather is assembled together with a Birkenstock footbed. All shoes are notably made by hand in the U.S. The design collective is treating a pair of Birkinstocks as a one of a kind bespoke object, with no stock model.
Listed Birkin bags on the site range from $19,500 to $48,000. Although a price is not listed for the custom shoes, we imagine that the shoes cost quite a lot as well.
Referred to as Drop 39 by the controversial design brand, MSCHF encourages interested fans to download their app to receive info on their latest drops, as each is uniquely different.
Other features of the luxury sandals include custom-made buckles on each shoe made from vermeil gold as well as an anatomically-shaped cork-latex footbed. The suede sandal features the material throughout, on the footbed and upper. The sole is made from EVA.
While limited-edition sneakers have become objects of commodity in addition to being just shoes, it looks like MSCHF is paving the market for exclusively-luxurious ugly sandals. The marriage of two popular, yet controversial objects (i.e. the “ugly sandal” and one of the world’s most expensive bags) is sure to send a shock to some but make sense to others as an object to invest in.
For more information on MSCHF’s latest creation, the Birkinstock sandal, check out Birkinstock.shoes.