After recent collaborations with VEJA 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 Birkenstock’s best-loved silhouettes.
The Birkenstock Arizona and Boston both feature extended straps and black metal rivets and hardware, which are also referenced on a version of the Rotterdam silhouette. All three come in black leather. Additionally, Owens has created extra takes on the Arizona and Boston that are wrapped in an iridescent foiled leather.
Launching the collaboration, Rick Owens discussed the project with HYPEBEAST, praising Birkenstock for standing for “modesty, health and consistency.” The designer also explained the importance of the black colorways and detailing, saying, “In addition to our signature extended straps, I wanted everything in black — black leather, black patent leather and all-black hardware. In a busy, chaotic and garish world, black provides a clean and crisp graphic formality to my eyes.”
A key influence for the collection comes from the work of filmmakers Fritz Lang and Cecil B. DeMille. “I think everything I have ever learned was from Fritz Lang and Cecil B. DeMille,” Owens continued. “Black and white imagery seen through a vintage film texture patina, stories of vice versus morality and the glamour of the period in which they were filmed. I always imagined those apostles dragging their robes through dusty temples wearing Birkenstock sandals…”
For more from Rick Owens, read our interview with him from earlier this year, in which he discussed collaborations, quarantine and his new approach.