Talk about upcycling.
While the much of the world is hunkered down at home in the midst of a global health crisis and lamenting the idea of ever wearing jeans again, celebrities like Kylie Jenner are buying “Birkinstocks,” an jaw-dropping combination of Birkenstock sandals and Hermès Birkin bags.
They’re crafted by a brand known as MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”) that also has its own app for those waiting on new drops. The brand asks in their Instagram bio that you do not follow them, but will, however, accept anywhere from $34,000 to $76,000 USD for a pair of these celeb-sought-after shoes. Yep — you need a sizeable bank account to wear an Hermès bag, deemed a better investment than gold, on your feet.
Jenner, a known Hermès handbag collector, took to Instagram on February 16 o share a photo of her latest cop — a pair of Birkenstock Arizona-style shoes with straps made from a black Birkin bag. According to the New York Times, the sole is made from actual Birkenstock cork and rubber while the leather comes from four Birkin bags that MSCHF purchased through resale sites. Talk about upcycling.
In Jenner’s post, the shoes — featuring the word “Birkinstock” and the classic Hermès logo stamped on the side — were delicately nestled on top of what looks like an Hermès scarf and packed inside an orange box, which appears to read “Made in NYC by MSCHF” on the inside. Jenner wrote “thanks @mschf” with two black heart emojis on her post.
Other celebrities, like musicians Future and Kehlani, have their own pairs, too. It’s not far-fetched to assume that Drake might’ve already snagged a pair, given he collects Birkin bags for his future wife.
Brooklyn-based brand MSCHF is known as an “ideas factory,” intent on releasing viral products every second and fourth Monday at 11am EST, per their website. One of their most talked-about releases to date? Custom Nike Air Max shoes filled with holy water, dubbed “Jesus Shoes,” that sold for $1,800 USD. Other past drops include a weed pipe made to look like a rubber chicken, and a dog collar that turned barks into swear words.
So what is MSCHF, really? Basically, they’re an internet prankster, similar to the likes of Banksy. Some believe their products are made to mock hype-beast consumerism, but MSCHF’s head of strategy, 23-year-old Daniel Greenberg, has said: “We’re just sort of fascinated with destroying expensive things and creating something new out of them.”
“Birkin bags are like a cultural meme, a symbol for a certain kind of wealth,” one of MSCHF’s creative directors, 28-year-old Lukas Bentel, told the publication, suggesting, perhaps, that the combination of a high-price-point product and an accessible shoe would make people question the symbolism.
Birkenstock sandals have experienced many comebacks, along with other formerly uncool dad shoes. They’re on a pendulum, swinging back and forth between chic and something your dad wears with socks to man the barbecue. Obviously, Jenner won’t be wearing these bad boys to grill steaks — or will she?
It’s likely the “Birkinstocks” will sell out pretty quickly, given how fast most of MSCHF’s drops do. There’s no telling what the brand will decide to make next, but if you’re interested, you’ll want to start saving your pennies now.