Founded in 1774 and subject of a possible €4bn takeover, the German sandal may well be beyond fashion
Comfortable fashion is big business. Nowhere is this more true than on our feet. With the possibility of an acquisition by US private equity firm L Catterton on the horizon, Birkenstock, founding father of comfortable footwear, is set to be valued at €4bn (£3.6bn).
The success of a 247-year-old, German-owned orthopedic sandal-maker is less surprising than it sounds. With many people homebound since last spring, parties and weddings cancelled, and a focus on waist-up dressing, indoors became the new outdoors – and footwear swiftly came to reflect a need for comfort over, say, heel height. Demand for stilettos fell 21% globally last year, according to Euromonitor, while searches for slippers were up 242%, says Lyst.