Dior by Birkenstock looks to Christian Dior’s love of gardens

Christian Dior’s lifelong love of horticulture provides the inspiration for Dior’s flower-filled collaboration with Birkenstock

Man in Dior by Birkenstock on box with flowers
Jacket, £3,500; jumper, price on request; shirt, £830; trousers, £1,550, all by Dior. Sandals, £840, by Dior by Birkenstock
(Image credit: Photography by Benjamin Pexton, fashion by Jason Hughes)

Christian Dior’s lifelong love of horticulture was born in childhood, watching his mother Madeleine tend the garden at the family’s seaside home, Villa Les Rhumbs in Granville, Normandy. Exposed to the elements, the house’s windswept clifftop grounds nonetheless cultivated an edenic array of flora, including Madeleine’s treasured rose garden, where over 20 varieties bloomed. Flowers would become a perennial motif in the couturier’s work; later in life, he would cultivate a garden of his own at Le Moulin du Coudret, just outside of Paris. ‘My life and style owe almost everything to Les Rhumbs,’ he said. 

A century on, such flowers adorn the limited-edition Dior gardening shoes created in a collaboration between the house’s menswear creative director Kim Jones and historic German shoe manufacturer Birkenstock. A riff on Birkenstock’s ergonomic Tokio Mule – a rubber mudguard and nubuck leather ankle strap are added to the original style – the grey felt slippers combine ornamental embellishment with utilitarian design, a balance Jones has struck in his menswear collections at the house so far. Here, delicate hand-embroidered flowers and foliage meet Jones’ futuristic aluminium ‘rollercoaster’ buckle – an expression of heritage and modernity at once.

Dior by Birkenstock

a robust rubber upper, industrial hardware buckle and feature delicate floral embroidery

Dior by Birkenstock

(Image credit: Photography by Jackie Nickerson, courtesy of Dior)

The collaboration was first revealed as part of an A/W22 collection in which Jones noted an imagined conversation with Monsieur Dior through the ‘virtuoso savoir-faire’ which defines the Parisian house – from flights of intricate embroidery and embellishment, to plays on the house founder’s seminal 1947 Bar jacket (which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary, see W*282). Other footwear styles in the collaboration include the Tokio Mule in brown, greige and black nubuck calfskin, and a version of Birkenstock’s two-strap Milano sandal. Each pair is completed with a unique tread which melds Dior’s ‘Oblique’ monogram with Birkenstock’s ‘Bones’ motif, a symbolic union of two bastions of construction and craft.

Model: Dhillon at Kult Models. Casting: Svea Casting. Hair: Sky Cripps-Jackson using Davines. Make-up: Victoria Martin using Rationale. Manicure: Sasha Goddard at Saint Luke using Dior Manicure Collection and Miss Dior Hand Cream. Set design: Staci Lee Hindley. Set assistants: Luke Spence. Photography assistants: Ben Butcher, Millie Noble, Alys Morrison. Fashion assistant: Kris Bergfeldt. 

A version of this article appears in the December 2022 issue of Wallpaper*, available in print, on the Wallpaper* app on Apple iOS, and to subscribers of Apple News +. Subscribe to Wallpaper* today (opens in new tab).

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Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands. 

With contributions from