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Birkenstock launches design project with Central Saint Martins

Published
Jul 10, 2020
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Birkenstock has revealed that a footwear collection designed by Central Saint Martins fashion students will launch in stores and online next February.


Students including Saskia Lenaerts (left) and Alecsander Rothschild (right) will see their creations launch with Birkenstock - Birkenstock


The initiative is part of a long-term collaboration with the prestigious London college involving BA Fashion History & Theory and MA Fashion students.

The German footwear brand said the project started in 2018, when it commissioned the BA Fashion History & Theory course to research and enrich its archive. Core elements of Birkenstock’s history were identified across various research trips to its headquarters in Germany, allowing students to capture the German company’s heritage.

The result of this research translated into a second project, with MA Fashion students invited to interpret the brand’s classic style in their contemporary way.

A jury of 12 industry leaders led by Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert, MA Fashion Course Director Fabio Piras and fashion critic Sarah Mower selected a shortlist of 10 finalists. Finally, four winning designs will go into production, launching in select stores worldwide and on 1774.com from February 2021.

“Investing in and connecting with future talents is working with free spirits. A priority for forward thinking brands, especially a democratic brand that embraces all like Birkenstock. The students showed a genuine understanding of design and delivered a convincing end result,” said Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert.

“Working with Birkenstock has been an incredibly gratifying experience for all our students involved in this collaborative project. Four were selected as the winning team and now see their design ideas taken into production and communicated across the brand’s global retail network,” added Fabio Piras, Course Director, MA Fashion.

“As a course director, I want my students to think that their being creative is what gives them commercial potential. I am very grateful to Birkenstock for their exceptional commitment in supporting fashion education in practice with this rewarding opportunity.” 

The collection will be supported by a campaign that will be shot by photographer Walter Pfeiffer in Paris. 

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