Birkenstock is celebrating the anniversary of three of its most successful sandal styles with a limited-edition capsule collection.
The exclusive collection will include the Madrid, Arizona and Gizeh in eight colors total. The Birkenstock anniversary collection is strictly limited according to each model’s year of birth – the Madrid will be available in an edition of 1,963 pairs, there will be 1,973 of the Arizona model, and the Gizeh batch will be capped at 1,983 pairs.
All three models have one thing in common namely the centerpiece of the Birkenstock product philosophy – the original footbed. Birkenstock’s signature footbed is inspired by a natural footprint in the sand and therefore simulates walking on a soft, yielding surface. Each of the style in the anniversary collection comes with a set of vintage Birkenstock socks and a special designed box inspired by the footwear brand’s archive.
Initially sold exclusively in specialist stores due to its unique footbed attributes, the Arizona quickly became a bestseller and a symbol of the 1970’s counterculture in the USA. The Arizona stands for health and naturalness and breaks with societal norms.
Made in Germany, the sandals were worn by musicians in Woodstock and Silicon Valley. The Arizona also gave the brand its first points of contact in the world of fashion with the silhouette making its first appearance on the runway in New York in 1993.
Drawing inspiration from his father Konrad Birkenstock’s work on the footbed, the orthopedic shoemaker focused in the 1960’s on developing the first Birkenstock shoe that would give people a “natural gait.” Together, the father and son laid the foundations for the Madrid in 1963 with their avant-garde “deep-footbed sandal,” as was its working title.
Inspired by the unembellished, functional aesthetic of brutalist architecture and characterized by clear lines and visible natural materials, the shoe drew on design language which was unconventional at the time. The aesthetic of the minimalist single-strap sandal, which was designed as a unisex model and was therefore ahead of its time, serves as the basis of the unmistakable Birkenstock style to this day.
With the Gizeh, Karl Birkenstock remained true to his clear and bold aesthetic while taking inspiration from one of the oldest shoes in history, developing the first thong sandal with an ergonomically shaped toe bar. Following more than three years of development, the label eventually launched the Gizeh in five colors for the first time in the company’s history – a confident step which combined its fashion and health expectations.
The anniversary collection is currently available to shop at Birkenstock.com.
PHOTOS: See more Birkenstock collections in the gallery.
About the Author:
Ashley Rushford is the Digital Editor for Footwear News. She writes and edits stories about celebrity style, the latest fashion trends, shoe releases and exclusive interviews. Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies from Rutgers University and has written for publications like Essence Magazine and Black Enterprise.