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Birkenstock Targets the Hip Set

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Zappos

    If there were any time for Birkenstock to try to appeal to a younger new audience, now would be it. There's no time like the present, plus, the strategy of heritage brands re-jiggering their marketing initiatives and sometimes even putting out design updates has seen a great deal of success (case in point: L.L. Bean, Pendleton, Keds, and many more).

    Nearly half a century old, the German-born brand famous for its signature hippie-classic sandals is treading into younger, more stylish territory with a series of new ads, and an expanded retail base including Madewell, Steven Alan and Urban Oufitters, which will offer the shoes next spring.

    Despite being picked up by younger, more fashion-forward stores and the introduction of six new silhouettes, the designs are largely remaining the same. “After going through this economic turmoil, people want to simplify their lives a little bit, live more true to their values, be more authentic, and that’s who we are. And all that can be fashionable,” Shelly Glasgow, director of product development told WWD. Rather than creating new looks to appeal to younger tastes, this actually seems to say something about the trend forecasting on the part of the retailers—and their confidence in a Birkenstock revival.