PR Newswire

LINZ, Germany, Nov. 21, 2022

"Rethinking Footwear, Redefining Aesthetics", produced by T Brand Studio, documents the journey of BIRKENSTOCK from the controversial introduction of its groundbreaking sandal in 1963 through to its contemporary appeal in the fashion industry.

LINZ, Germany, Nov. 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- The third installment of "Ugly for a Reason", the ambitious three-part BIRKENSTOCK video documentary spotlighting the importance of foot health, has been released. "Rethinking Footwear, Redefining Aesthetics" builds upon the series' first episodes, which grounded the audience in the importance of having healthy feet. Episode Three explores how the brand's first orthopedic sandal, the Madrid, shook up the footwear industry and laid the groundwork for putting foot health on the global fashion agenda. Produced by T Brand, the content studio of New York Time Advertising, the ad campaign is available on NYTIMES.COM, BIRKENSTOCK.COM and all other online channels of the iconic brand and inventor of the footbed.


Bringing the story behind BIRKENSTOCK's modern success to life "Rethinking Footwear, Redefining Aesthetics" draws upon the voices of celebrated fashion industry members and authoritative historians. Featuring Kristina Blahnik, CEO of Manolo Blahnik, Italian fashion designer Stefano Pilati and Fabio Piras, Course Director MA Fashion at Central Saint Martins, the tale of how - as Pilati puts it - "when you think of a sandal, you think of BIRKENSTOCK" came to be, is revealed. The orthopedic roots of the company, plays a key role in this success and German fashion journalist and curator Nike Breyer recounts the story of the launch of the Madrid sandals at the Düsseldorf Shoe Fair in 1963. At this point Karl Birkenstock released a design that he himself says made him a "laughing­stock" at the industry event. Of course, BIRKENSTOCK, now a leading force in orthopedic footwear and a design giant in in the fashion industry, had the last laugh - as this short film profiles.

Oliver Reichert, CEO of the BIRKENSTOCK Group says that the third episode of "Ugly for a Reason" outlines how the purpose of the brand - to provide the world with footbeds that offers a most natural way of walking - has been integral to its success. "When Karl Birkenstock introduced the sandal in 1963, he was far ahead of his time, but his brave ambition to provide a shoe that really supported the human body paid off," Reichert explains. "Today the name BIRKENSTOCK is synonymous with foot health and the footbed at our sandal's core has become a triumph in the fashion and footwear industry. We are delighted that T Brand Studio has helped us bring the story behind BIRKENSTOCK's design to the New York Times's international audience."



BIRKENSTOCK is a global lifestyle brand with a heritage in iconic footwear, rooted in the creation of the BIRKENSTOCK footbed. The brand that can be traced as far as 1774 is guided by the notion of quality and function in all its actions and across all categories. The concept of all-round wellbeing is developed into footwear, sleeping systems and natural cosmetics, increasingly translating the lifestyle vision of the brand heritage.

With around 5,500 employees worldwide, this traditional, sixth-generation family-run business is also one of the German footwear industry's biggest employers. BIRKENSTOCK was already using the term "footbed" in the 1910s, giving it the meaning which is commonly understood by consumers all over the world to this day – as a synonym for outstanding comfort when walking and standing. By the early 1970s, BIRKENSTOCK had become a global player. Since 2021, the company is majority owned by L Catterton, the world's largest growth investor focused on the consumer goods industry, and Financière Agache, a holding company controlled by Agache, the holding company of the Arnault family.

Manufactured in Germany, the sandals are sold in more than 100 countries on all continents. BIRKENSTOCK also has a growing range of closed shoes, children's shoes, and occupational footwear, as well as specialist products for orthopedic retailers, socks, bags, and belts. In 2017, BIRKENSTOCK added sleep systems and natural cosmetics (BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE) to its portfolio of products. BIRKENSTOCK has 16 sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony. The long-standing enterprise also operates its own sales offices in the United States and Canada as well as in Brazil, China, Singapore, Japan, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Dubai and India.

Birkenstock Group B.V. & Co. KG
Burg Ockenfels, Linz, Germany

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