Philipp Plein’s slides mimic Birkenstock’s Arizona sandals

Philipp Plein, clown prince of fashion, continues to do what all great artists do: steal. It’s not that he’s out of ideas, mind you, it’s that he never had any in the first place.

These $1,290 Philipp Plein leather sandals may not be the first imitations of Birkenstock’s classic Arizona sandal that I’ve ever seen, but they are certainly one of the most heinous examples.

Now, is Plein too mature a target to ridicule, given his track record of goofy stunts and legacy of dupe designs? Perhaps. But, as a ride-or-die Birkenstock, these clone slides really sent me on.

Printed to look like crocodile skin, Plein’s Arizona bootleg sandals sport the required two forefoot straps, but also increase grip with a small silver version of its silly skull and crossbones emblem. and rhinestone-dipped buckles.

Admittedly, these aren’t the greatest horrors Plein has ever created (have you seen his earth-shattering NFT collection?), but there’s a special kind of horror elicited by wearing the humble Arizona sandal to such garish heights. .

It’s also funny that Birkenstock’s bling-out Manolo Blahnik collab costs less than Plein’s wannabe slides, though that’s the real artifact — Blannik stock is only $810 at most, which is more than $400 less than Plein’s antics.

Perhaps it’s the nappa leather insole lining or the inexplicable ridged outsole that Plein applied to its knockoff shoes that drives the price beyond four figures, which can’t quell the feeling. to wear counterfeit Birks.

But when you’ve made a career of knocking down more successful designers with only a few lawsuits against you, why stop?

From Jor-don’ts knockoffs to awful Bottega Vene shoes to Vuitton Fufu-ois bags, Plein is a master of borrowed design.

The shirt above is another good example: take the Teddy Bear shirt from Palm Angels and the various plush toys from Louis Vuitton, mix them with a painfully OTT graphic design and boom, an instant crime against good taste.

Alternatively, slap the rectangular logo and Olde English text from a Chrome Hearts hat onto an ugly pink dad hat for some reason.

Bonus: notice how the sweater juxtaposes block letters and cartoon characters in a way that’s not entirely dissimilar to some of Dior’s artist collaborations.

Not a straight rip, necessarily, but there are clear similarities and when you’re dealing with a pro impersonator like Plein, no coincidence is too small.

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