BIRKENSTOCK + STAUD with Sarah Staudinger
The STAUD cofounder shares her top picks from the new capsule collection, plus what makes this pairing of cult-favorite brands the perfect fit.
How did the Birkenstock partnership come about? What initially drew you to team up with the brand? What inspired the concept for the collection?
To me, a Birkenstock can give any outfit edge, right off the bat showing an insight into the personality of their wearer. From a fashion perspective, they give a sense of style to any look—be it jeans or a ballgown—in a way that maybe no other shoe can. They say, "I put myself first," not just because Birkenstocks are comfortable and practical, but because they represent that notion.
I wear them year-round: when it's cold, with socks, and when it's warm, every single day. I wanted to riff on the one shoe you could pack on a vacation and wear with every outfit. We chose to make the BIRKENSTOCK + STAUD capsule styles in classic crocodile-embossed leathers with details that mirror our handbag language, elevating them ever so slightly and increasing their versatility from day to night. They're the perfect shoes for exploring a city or dancing in a minidress on the beach, and they go with just about any color in your wardrobe.
STAUD was founded in Los Angeles in 2015, while Birkenstock is a 248-year-old brand based in Germany, and yet the mashup of both brands seems like such a natural fit. What do you think is the reason for the design synergy between the brands?
The whole philosophy around the foundation of Birkenstock has transcended into an attitude: timeless, free-spirited and versatile. We share that same DNA. STAUD has many personalities, with a natural opposition to the typical—seductive yet self-governing. We like to say that if fashion is a never-ending pursuit of style, then STAUD is what happens after you've found it. Our girl already loves her Birks; now we've made them just for her.
Do you recall your first-ever pair of Birkenstocks?
I wish I did! They were for sure an Arizona.
You've been behind some of fashion's buzziest It bags. Talk to us about the bags in this collection and the thought process behind designing them.
Our bag shapes complement the ease of this whole collection. This is the first time we've done the Kaia in crocodile-embossed leather, and our Tommy bag got a whole new energy with a mix of beads and sequins in a rainbow madras plaid. Both bags fit your all-day essentials to take you from day to night, just like the Birkenstocks.
What are some key pieces from the collection that you'll incorporate into your day-to-day wardrobe this summer?
I am truly obsessed with our black Gizeh in crocodile-embossed leather. I love a serious outfit with an unpredictable shoe. Nothing is chicer to me than a black suit or trouser (even a little black dress!) with this shoe.
The juxtaposition between a sexy look and a Birkenstock is the perfect balance in an outfit. On the Gizeh we used silver hardware, which I love against the shine from the embossed leather.
We're excited to go on this journey with you and know this BIRKENSTOCK + STAUD collection will take you everywhere and in between—and make each step that much better.