Birkenstock’s New Sandal Has Jil Sander Vibes

Birkenstock is so low-key that basically any newness is headline-worthy. Hence why I’m particularly jazzed any time that the German footwear imprint reveals a brand-new sandal.

On August 2, Birkenstock debuted the Cannes, a new slingback sandal that’s essentially a premium update to the classic Milano, refined with glossy leather straps and a tonal black leather-covered footbed. Birkenstock’s sandals typically emphasize the company’s signature cork footbed and only the most premium Birkenstocks cover up with soft black leather.

Available for $230 on Birkenstock’s website, the Cannes looks all the world like a sandal from Birkenstock’s 1774 line, its highest-end offering, what with its quietly opulent premium design. What makes the Cannes special is that it’s a general-release model.

In fact, not only does Birkenstock’s Cannes sandal bear the general cues of the 1774 line, but its pared-back, slimmed-down shape directly recalls Jil Sander’s collaborative Milano sandals from a few years back, except its slightly more affordable and vastly more available.

This isn’t the first time that Birkenstock has adopted the appearance of its 1774 shoes for a mainline product. The “corduroy” suede Boston clogs that Stüssy co-designed, for instance, have inspired a line of in-line ridged Birkenstock sandals.

But that’s Birkenstock for ya. It’s hardly unusual for the footwear company to translate cues across models. Its EVA line, for instance, recently expanded to include the ever-popular Boston clog, offering customers a pre-softened iteration of one of Birkenstock’s most in-demand shoe.

It’s this exact balance of consumer acumen and inherent wearability that’s afforded Birkenstock the universal appeal necessary to score a $8 billion IPO that’s reportedly set to be unveiled in mere weeks.

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