Old Meets New: Birkenstock Reveals 4 New Designs by Central Saint Martins Students

In this article, Cheyanne Greig-Andrews discusses the 4 new designs created by Central Saint Martins students in collaboration with the iconic footwear brand, Birkenstock. 

Birkenstock is a timeless brand that has successfully cemented itself as a staple in footwear fashion. However, these classic cork soles will be taking on a contemporary new look thanks to 4 emerging London fashion students. The German footwear brand has recently announced the results of an exciting collaboration with future leaders in footwear design.

London’s Central Saint Martins college notoriously produces world-class talent in fashion and design year after year. CSM is quintessentially modern, risk-taking, and contemporary in its approach to design. Birkenstock, on the other hand, is known for comfortable, supportive, and inoffensive footwear for all. A unique and exciting collaboration to say the least.

The CSM and Birkenstock project began in 2018 when Birkenstock “commissioned the BA Fashion History & Theory course to research and enrich its archive” according to Barbara Santamaria with Fashion Network. This archival work would soon become a long term relationship between these two partners.

A second project arose with Central Saint Martins MA fashion students, inviting them to reinvent the brand’s classic sandal with a modern take for a limited-edition capsule. Led by Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert, 12 other industry leaders, CSM’s MA Fashion Course Director Fabio Piras, and Fashion Critic Sarah Mower got to work selecting a shortlist of 10 finalists.

After painstaking deliberation, four final designs have been selected. These lucky four designers will see their works in production and in select stores around the world in February 2021. The talented four finalists are Saskia Lenaerts, Alecsander Rothschild, Alex Wolfe, and Dingyun Zhang.

MA Fashion Course Director Fabio Piras stated that the project “offered Birkenstock a diverse creative approach and enabled us both to challenge each other’s aesthetics and identities”. The collaboration highlights the potential for new talent to establish themselves in the commercial fashion industry as well as the beauty that can come when diverging styles work together.

Only two of the four designs have had a soft reveal so far. The official Birkenstock Instagram page has announced that all images of the new designs will be released in January 2021. Something to look forward to in the months ahead and certainly an exciting start to the new year for Birkenstock, CSM students, and consumers alike. 

Photos via Instagram 

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