Every week a different FADER staff member will pick a clothing item or accessory that he or she has lately been spending a lot of time with—or would like to—and write a little love letter to it. We would’ve done a column on who we’re dating but that seemed a little bit much. This week Chioma Nnadi writes about the Birkenstock Liquid Silver Sparta Sandal.
I have big feet. One of my best friends calls them Barney Rubbles. It is what it is. One time, at a focus group for a very well-known athletic company, I was asked: "If you were a shoe, what shoe would you be?" I said that I was about a quarter Birkenstock and three-quarters strappy Saint Laurent sandal, which makes absolutely no sense at all unless you know me. Last year I had foot surgery—I walked into the doctor's office in green snakeskin heels and left there with a heavily bandaged foot in a black surgical geisha bootie which I had to wear for six whole weeks. Shayne of Hood by Air saw me hobbling around town and offered to customize my bootie but I figured I would just embrace the ugliness of it all and be humbled.
Now I'm a lot kinder to my feet, and being that I am half Swiss German, wearing Birkenstocks at least 50% of the time is almost like going back to my roots. The Birk sandals I used to wear aged 7 were purple, green and pink with white buckles, and I adored them. But I really only wore them while I was on vacation with my grandparents in the Alps because nobody back home in London could fully understand the Pippi Longstocking look I was masterminding. That's kind of why I like my liquid Silver Birkenstocks, because they are spacey and earthy all at once. They are chic and comfy in that nostalgic, classic way. And when random strangers compliment me on them, I know I'm doing my Barney Rubbles proud.