A new product campaign from the German brand sees collaboration with key craftsmen and curators.

BIRKENSTOCK steps wholeheartedly into the heritage menswear market with the launch of its new #BOLD collection.

In this campaign the German brand, whose core pillars are function, quality and heritage, bring to market a premium version of their classic ARIZONA and BOSTON models, key products which have defined BIRKENSTOCK’s success.

Storytelling within the campaign revolves around Takashi Okabe and James Otter – influential curators and craftsmen whose values align perfectly with that of the BIRKENSTOCK brand.

Takashi Okabe is Director of London’s Clutch Café, the menswear store through which he curates what is possibly London’s finest edit of ‘American Casual’ style, defined through a fundamentally Japanese lens. He is also part of the team that publishes definitive Japanese magazines CLUTCH, LIGHTNING and 2ND.

“Style is all about being comfortable and happy about who you are,” he says. “When choosing a product, I think about what it will be like to wear in ten years’ time. These things are all about bringing happiness, and being authentic in who you are and what you do.”

James Otter is a Cornwall-based master woodworker. He crafts bespoke, hand-made surfboards from timber sourced from England’s West Country, using techniques that date back to the very earliest days of surfboard construction. The things he makes are infused with a deeply human character, which can only emerge through direct human touch.

“I think that creating something by hand is what defines us as humans,” he says. “When you create something with your hands you leave something of yourself in the thing that you make. That makes a huge difference. And every time you paddle out with these boards you feel that humanity.”

As part of the campaign, BIRKENSTOCK and Otter have created a one-of-a-kind surfboard: a completely hand-made, all-wooden ‘eagle’, which is based on a legendary Californian design. 

Like the BIRKENSTOCK brand, the ‘eagle’ design has ‘paddled against the flow’ of mainstream culture and defined an alternative aesthetic to the mass produced, cookie cutter culture that surrounded it. As surf culture went mainstream in the 1980s, the original Eagle was everything the new scene was not. Similarly, BIRKENSTOCK’s ethos of function, quality and heritage, which is maximized in the #B O L D product, is fundamentally in opposition to the throwaway culture of fast fashion, which defines so much of the footwear industry all over the world.

A launch event on July 6 hosted by Takashi Okabe at London’s Clutch Café, which will be one of a limited array of retail partners for BIRKENSTOCK #BOLD will see James Otter talking about the creation of the board and discussing how important provenance and process are in creating truly special objects.

The new styles will be available July 7th at BIRKENSTOCK.com, BIRKENSTOCK retail stores as well as selected retailers worldwide.