Manolo Blahnik may be most associated with its spectacular stilettos, but this spring the brand is stepping out in something a little more laid back. Uniting the extravagant with the everyday, the ostentatious with the ergonomic, the footwear aficionado has paired up with Birkenstock on a collection of day-to-night designs, accented with its signature sparkle. 

Mr Blahnik himself is a longtime fan of the German brand’s signature slip-on styles, noting that you will find him in a pair almost every single day. He was even shot for Birkenstock’s S/S 2020 campaign, alongside company CEO Kristina Blahnik, sporting its black Boston clog. ‘The shoes are extremely well crafted and timeless, both essential elements in my own designs and that’s why this collaboration has worked so well,’ he says. 

For the collection, Blahnik has swathed Birkenstock’s Arizona and Boston sandals with idiosyncratic jewel-tone velvet and buckles sparkling with crystals, reflecting those found on his signature stilettos (perhaps most memorably, on the pair Carrie Bradshaw sports in the first Sex and the City movie in lieu of an engagement ring). ‘I also added elegant French piping to the edges, which finishes the styles beautifully,’ he says. The styles have a versatility that resonates with the ease-centric requirements of dressing today. ‘You could wear this collection with casual trousers or a ball gown – both would look marvellous,’ Blahnik adds. ‘It’s been a privilege to reimagine Birkenstocks in my way, and they have been crafted so well in their factory. Divine!’ 

The limited-edition collaboration will encompass seven different footwear styles, with the first arrivals available from March 24 on both Manolo Blahnik and Birkenstock’s websites, including the blue velvet iterations of the Arizona and Boston, alongside versions in fuchsia velvet and black leather. Further arrivals from the collection – yet to be revealed – will arrive later this year in June 2022. §