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Forget Normcore: Birkenstock CEO Says People “Just Want to Get Real”

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A footwear brand with more than 240 years of history cannot justifiably be called an underdog, but Birkenstock knows a thing or two about making a comeback. The German comfort footwear brand has weathered the ebb and flow of the global footwear market, surviving decades of copycats and the highs and lows associated with falling in and out (and back in) fashion. More impressively, the brand knows how to do it with quiet grace by sticking to its core values, putting customers first and never getting too swept up with trends — no matter how much instant sales gratification they may offer.

Upholding the brand’s values is David Kahan, former ENK International president and Rockport senior vice president. In 2013, Kahan came on board as Birkenstock USA CEO and has since had the unique task of leading the company through its latest comeback.

Just don’t call it a “Normcore” comeback. As Kahan explained, no one in the company uses the term to describe the comfort-focused fashion fad. In fact, Kahan says comfort is not a fleeting trend and that is why he says there will be a place for Birkenstock in stores and in closets long after Normcore fades away.

Vamp caught up with Kahan to find out what’s next for the heritage comfort brand and how it is transforming its core sandal business into a year-round venture with new and updated styles that stay true to its roots.

Read more at Vamp.