WORDS BY NATALIE YIASSOUMI
The unisex collaboration was teased at the Dior Men’s show in Paris and will make its debut in stores in June 2022.
In a surprise collaboration, Dior unveiled a new, luxury take on the Birkenstock Tokio mules. Images courtesy of Imaxtree.
2022 is starting with big news for the shoe world, including the unlikely pairing of Dior with Birkenstock.
The French luxury house joined forces with the German orthopedic footwear company to create a new, luxury take on the Birkenstock Tokio mules – the clunky type that used to be reserved for your grandmother – and the classic Milano sandals, featuring thick straps and cork soles.
The luxe Dior take involved dressing the styles in grey felt and suede fabrics; adding the same industrial buckle as the brand’s iconic Saddle bags; and mixing the Birkenstock ‘Bone’ wavy pattern with Dior’s ‘Oblique’ motif on the soles. There’s also rubber details on the caps of toes to ensure the shoes keep the element of practicality that Birkenstock is known for.
One of the highlights in the capsule, includes a version of the Tokio mules updated with intricate floral embroideries, paying homage to Christian Dior’s love of nature and the French house’s commitment to handcraft and couture techniques.
The shoes made their debut on the Dior Men’s Fall 2022 catwalk during the latest Paris Fashion Week, but the collection was designed to be unisex and will become available to shop across both men’s and women’s departments as of next June.
The unisex collection is set to be released in the coming summer. Images courtesy of Birkenstock.
Dior Men’s artistic director, Kim Jones, has always been a collaboration mastermind – he was behind everything from Louis Vuitton’s blockbuster Supreme collaboration, to the Dior x Nike Air Jordan sneakers that became some of the most rare and on-demand shoes to date. Given the rave reviews around the Birkenstock tie-in, it’s to be expected that the launch next summer will create a similar craze across Dior stores around the world and resale websites.
This is a big boost for Birkenstock too, which has been upping its fashion credentials for a few years now, scoring collaborations with brands like Proenza Schouler and Rick Owens. But this is the first time the infamous orthopedic sandals make it to the catwalks in Paris and get the stamp of approval from a heritage house like Dior.
It’s a sign that in 2022 anything goes and any traditions we used to know around shoe etiquette and luxury are being re-written. The only question that remains: Who will be Birkenstock’s next major collaborator this year?
This article contains commercial, affiliate links.