Flat shoes can still lift you up.
To wit: Iconic comfy-shoe maker Birkenstock cites “modern feminism” as a driver of growth in its filing to go public.
- “The ongoing evolution and expansion of the role of women in society” is driving “meaningful shifts” in footwear preferences, the company says.
- “While trends in fashion come and go, we believe women’s increasing preference for functional apparel and footwear has and will prove secular in nature.”
Why it matters: Women don’t want to cram their feet into painful high heels, thanks to feminism, yes — but also thanks to the push toward casual dress that was accelerated in the pandemic.
- Cork-soled Birks are legendary for their coziness. (Your newsletter writer is on her fifth pair.)
For example: Margot Robbie’s “Barbie.” In the blockbuster movie (spoiler alert coming), a pair of Birks — pink Arizona sandals — play a pivotal role in symbolizing Barbie’s evolution from a plastic doll with high-heel-shaped feet to a self-actualized woman with her feet on the ground.
- Sales got a boost from that one, as Axios’ Kimberly Chin reports.
The big picture: Once derided as the footwear of “do-gooder” liberals and unwashed hippies, Birkenstocks have been riding a wave of popularity for the past few years — especially as the company leaned more into fashion trends and teamed up with some popular designers.
- French billionaire Bernard Arnault — CEO of LVMH, a luxury goods company not known for selling goods of sturdy practicality — acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock in 2021.
💭 Emily’s thought bubble: I’m all for feminism and flat shoes, but it’s still not OK to wear Birks with socks. Sorry.