I never got on board with athleisure. Firstly, I hate formal exercise and secondly, I can’t stand leggings. Or any stretchy, clingy, overly form-fitting garb. So I let Lululemon, Sweaty Betty and their ilk pass me by. (Nike is different. Don’t ask me why.)
But there’s another health-style hybrid that’s snuck up on me and this one seems to have more appeal. It’s wellness-wear. So the stuff you wear for meditation, or hanging out apres-asanas on your yoga retreat. I’m a meditation newbie but I’m well into the gear. Pendleton blankets, cushions, soft sweatshirts, calming scent stuff – plus you know how I feel about chunky socks and Birkenstocks.
Two footwear brands embracing this shift (intentionally or not) are, in fact, Birkenstock and Teva. Both have released cool, fashion-forward iterations to hook in the wellness hipsters. Birkenstock has teamed up with the Hotel Il Pellicano for a collab that launched exclusively with Matches this week (top and below), featuring high end finishes, like blonde woven raffia or piped red satin.
Meanwhile, the NYT reports that Teva’s recent collab with Outdoor Voices (below) sold out almost instantly. I’m not surprised. It was faithful to the original nerdy design, just with a more fashion-forward, colour-blocked treatment.
There have been other, trendier Teva collaborations with the likes of Anna Sui and a couple of emerging designers, but those steer a bit too ‘fashion’ for me. And then there are the luxury brands nodding to the outdoorsy Teva aesthetic with a posh, Goop-ified twist. (Hi The Row…) Keep your eyes peeled if you’re a fellow fancier of just-jarring-enough footbed sandals. I imagine there’s plenty more where those came from.
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