Jil Sander’s Lucie and Luke Meier Are Birkenstock’s Latest Designer Collaborators

Also, with Arc’teryx [the high performance label with whom the Meiers have also collaborated], you know, it’s also something that we wouldn’t be able to do on our own. It’s something where, again. There’s an expertise. They add something that we couldn’t do, we give them something that they wouldn’t maybe do on their own, either. And you arrive at a point that’s exciting rather than a marketing exercise.

Is this a one-time thing, or…?

Luke: At this point, we don’t know yet what’s going to happen after this season. Going back to my experience with Supreme and collaboration projects in general, you always have quite a big learning curve at the beginning, because obviously there’s a lot of stuff outside of the actual product: you have distribution, communication, pricing, and all of this stuff to sort out. Subsequent seasons are actually much easier. I can’t speak on behalf of Birkenstock and what they’ve done with their other projects, but I think, it’ll just depend if it feels right for us to continue. I think we look at it from the perspective of whether it fits in with where we’re going, rather than did it sell out in two minutes.

Are there other sorts of areas that you look at and thing: ‘oh, it’d be great to do a collaboration in this sort of category’?

Luke: Automotive.

You want to make an electric car?

Luke: The market’s a bit too comfortable right now! No, I mean, those are things where, as they would say in Italian T.B.C., but we’ll see. I mean, they take a disproportionate amount of work to do. They’re really involved. The next one we do, we would have to find the right one to be able to dedicate the time that it needs.

What were the perks of this collab?

Lucie: It’s always interesting when you work with someone else, because our process is quite artisanal in a way and quite free. So it was interesting to work with somebody who has more restrictions, because theirs is a very industrial process. It’s always a good exercise.

Luke: And we saw the hotel from Wes Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. It’s actually right next to the Birkenstock factory in Eastern Germany, right on the Polish border. A beautiful little town.