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 am Rhein (Rhineland-Palatinate)/London, November 21, 2022 – 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.”