How the ‘wokest shoes’ on the planet became a luxury fashion must-have

Olive brown, £340, Milano cream, £350, both Jil Sander+ x Birkenstock 1774

The resulting four styles are all hyper appealing. The couple’s personal favourite is the Berlin, a clog interpretation of an original Birkenstock design. For my money, however, it’s the white ones that qualify as an immediate classic. Partly it’s the perversity of that expensive-looking white leather, which is the antithesis of the porridge-coloured functionality of the originals. Like virgin snow, they make you want to jump straight into them.

Fashion has been hijacking humble items for the best part of a century, from the Breton sail’s T-shirt to denim. But the Birkenstock additional political undertones bring an extra edge. It’s a shoe that has always been associated with nature, which is huge in fashion right now, with beaches and forests being co-opted as backgrounds for advertising campaigns in lieu of the sexy sky scrapers of old.

It also

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