Iconic German sandal brand Birkenstock has launched a versatile globe-touring retail concept that hooks up with the world’s most directional concept stores (and their brands) en route. Not only is its physical design reinvented to accommodate the nuances of each city, but the products shift between its host boutiques.
Conceived as a blank starter space, the purpose-built shipping container ‘boxes’ can be designed and furnished as desired by the concept stores selected to host them. Similarly, host retailers can flex their curatorial muscles at will, mixing limited-edition Birkenstock products (50%-60% of the pop-up’s assortment) with their own brands, rendering them wholly in sync with their clientele.
Kicking off in Birkenstock’s native Germany, the first box popped up at Berlin-based concept store Andreas Murkudis in July. Sitting just outside the store, two ‘boxes’ are arranged on top of one another, connected by an internal staircase and providing Murkudis’ store with a micro roof terrace. Designed for the store by local architects Gonzalez Haase AAS, the exterior is chrome metal and glass, while the interior boasts beautifully serene cork layering in reference to Birkenstocks’ soles.
Inside, a modernist plinth structure displays championed artisanal brands, with leather accessories, table art, ready-to-wear apparel and fine glassware sitting alongside custom-designed Birkenstock sandals exclusive to the store.
The box’s next stops are Berlin’s alternative shopping mall Bikini Berlin (end of July), Hamptons-based shop Kirna Zabete and Barneys NY in August, and Milanese store 10 Corso Como in September – coinciding with Milan Fashion Week.