Céline designer Phoebe Philo might have been vying for conceptual and deconstructed design when she sent Birkenstock-inspired sandals down the Spring 2013 runway, but what the fashion world got instead was a crystal ball into the footwear tastemakers would be wearing far into Spring ’15.
Whether you call it a “Birkenstock,” a “footbed shoe,” a “comfort sandal,” or a “throwback 90s style,” the shoe in question—flat, earthy, simple and slightly barbarian-like in design—is getting a facelift, and in the process, is pegged as an ‘It’ shoe across a range of themes.
“It’s been around for a couple of seasons and hasn’t been an easy sell in the past, but now we’re seeing it as a huge trend because they are finally becoming interesting,” Jennifer Muljana, head of product development for Restricted, said.
In what is likely to be the trend’s home stretch, designers are pulling out all the stops to upgrade the shoe by applying molten-like metallic leather to uppers, textural jute wraps to footbeds and statement-making shark tooth tread to outsoles.
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