Laurelle Laryea steps into the the Birkenstock campaign
German heritage brand Birkenstock forges ahead into the menswear market by developing its artisanal skills and vintage craftsmanship for the new #BOLD collection. In a tasteful manifestation of refinement, the new offering reimagines the value of tradition in updated versions of its timeless Arizona and Boston models.
Recalling classic styles, the revision features sturdy materials and robust detailing. Beautiful natural leather and the double pin-buckles on the chunky straps are, of course, iconic. And in line with the Birkenstock philosophy, the brand enlists equally enigmatic artisans Takashi Okabe and James Otter for the campaign. Highlighting the values of functionality, quality and heritage, Okabe is the director of London’s Clutch Café. He comes with the gravitas of curating the ‘finest edit of American Classic casual style’ seen through a uniquely Japanese lens. And, like Birkenstock, Okabe also shares an appreciation for quality. “Style is all about being comfortable and happy with who you are,” he says. “When choosing a product, I think about what it will be like to wear in ten years’ time.”
James Otter is a woodworker who crafts hand-made surfboards out of Cornwall. To him, human character is essential to his craft, and vintage hand-made techniques makes all the difference in today’s fast consumer culture: “I think that creating something by hand is what defines us as humans.” The contours of the famous Birkenstock ‘footbed’ echoes that same assurance of superior handiwork. To underscore it even further, Otter created a one-off, handcrafted, all-wooden ‘eagle’ surfboard for the campaign, modelled after a legendary Californian design. “Every time you paddle out with these boards you feel that humanity,” he says confidently.
Birkenstock, Okabe and Otter look to impress similar ideals of realness and individuality with their new #BOLD story. It tells a tale of the natural, understated flair of one of the world’s most popular footwear brands. For the collaborators, there are no better virtues than purpose and mindful process. Because away from the bright lights and manufactured hype, that’s really the life we all lead.
For more information on Birkenstock #BOLD, click here