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Is Deconstructing Birkin Bags Into $76,000 Sandals Upcycling or Downcycling?

Every second and fourth Monday, MSCHF releases something new. The often-absurd products vary and rarely resemble anything it has done before. In its inaugural drop, for example, the enigmatic brand—MSCHF’s LinkedIn page declares it is in the dairy business—auctioned off a laptop running six pieces of malware that it said had caused financial damages totaling $95 billion. It sold for $1.35 million.

Since then, the Brooklyn-based company has done everything from sell the spots off an original Damien Hirst painting—the spots sold for $480 a pop, but the now spotless artwork auctioned off for more than $260,000—to buying likely 2024 presidential campaign websites and offering shares in the URLs. The aim, MSCHF explained, is to sell the sites to politicians at a profit in a few years.

This week, however, it returned to footwear. Well over a year after it injected Nike Air Max 97s with Holy Water, scented them with Frankincense, attached a steel crucifix and sold the so-called “Jesus Shoes” for $1,425, MSCHF has introduced a line of sandals that far surpasses its predecessor, at least in price.

Combining Hermès’ Birkin bag and Birkenstock sandals, the appropriately titled ‘Birkinstock’ starts out at a cool $34,000 and can cost as much as $76,000.

The footwear is created with genuine Birkin bags that are disassembled, flattened, cut and attached to a Birkenstock cork footbed and rubber sole, MSCHF’s website said. Custom buckles are made from vermeil gold and engraved with the Birkinstock name. The sandals are available for purchase only by request.

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The steep price of the Birkin bags explains a large part of the sandal’s eye-watering price. A single red, crocodile-leather Porosus Birkin 35 bag fetches $48,000, according to MSCHF. The white Porosus bag originally sold for $31,000—roughly what someone working for $15 an hour would make in a year. The cheapest bag used, the Clemence Birkin 35, cost $19,500.

For those who balk at the Birkinstock’s steep price tag, Sotheby’s will debut a comparatively wallet-friendly alternative on Friday. Listed at just $25,000, the President Barack Obama Player Exclusive Nike Hyperdunk—the single confirmation sample created for a pair of basketball sneakers made custom for the former commander in chief himself—is one of only two pairs known to exist, according to the luxury goods broker.

The exclusive kicks reflect the “United We Rise” Hyperdunk created for and worn by Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games. They feature white leather uppers, blue Swooshes and visible Flywire technology. Custom details include the official Presidential Seal on the tongue and embroidered 44’s to honor the 44th commander in chief. Patriotic graphics such as bald eagles and the date “1776” decorate the insole.