We can credit the genius of Phoebe Philo for bringing back the Birkenstock out of grandpa’s closet and onto our must-have shopping lists for spring. Céline’s fuzzy, fur-lined sandal kicked off the third coming of the comfort shoe legend last year. After a year in the spotlight, Birkenstocks have returned for a second year with practically every hip label, from Givenchy to Zara, has some sort of a version just waiting to make you look orthopedic.
When it was introduced to North America in 1973, Birkenstock’s two-strap “Arizona” men’s sandal was the antithesis of the decade’s bare chested machismo ideal. It didn’t take long to be adopted with outdoorsy types, becoming a go-to for camping and campus-ing alike.
Its launch, however, didn’t inspire the fashion crowd until the now-infamous 1990 The Face editorial, featuring teenage Kate Moss, shot by the late Corrine Day, wearing rolled up jeans with white Birkenstocks, and not much else.
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