Brooklyn-based MSCHF is known for selling an array of absurd products, but its newest drop might top them all. The brand revealed its launch of the “Birkinstock” sandals, made with what the brand says is leather sourced from more than $122,500 worth of genuine Hermès Birkin bags. But despite the costly sandals featuring details and design from both Birkenstock and Hermès, neither brand was consulted, reported The Fashion Law.
This drop is hardly the first time MSCHF’s products have posed legal questions, but we definitely expect a lawsuit here. Hermès is notoriously protective of its world-famous bag, as well as the brand’s shade of orange used on official packaging — which, spoiler alert, MSCHF also borrowed. As for Birkenstock, The Fashion Law reported the brand holds rights in its name (and confusingly similar iterations of its name, such as “Birkinstock”), and its well-known sandal design. Looks like MSCHF has (willingly) stepped in it.
Stolen slippers — Unfortunately for MSCHF, the two brands’ lawsuits won’t cancel each other out, and we doubt the sale of all its “Birkinstocks” will cover what’s shaping up to be the most expensive publicity stunt ever. But according to The Fashion Law, MSCHF has already sold some of its bougie bootleg sandals to its “VIP clients.”
Ranging from $34,000 to $76,000, the fancy flip-flop is made out of authentic destroyed Hermès Birkin Bags, and comes in black, white, and maroon. Each design’s price point varies depending on the model used to make the piece.
The fraudulent footwear comes in even more phony packaging, which borrows Hermès’s orange box and includes what looks to be a Hermès scarf. A pair can be bought by inquiring on MSCHF’s website, where the brand seemingly defends itself with a statement:
"When brands collaborate they conflate, crossover, and context-collapse. A logo gets replaced here, a brand color there. In the end, what of the flagship product remains? Birkinstocks, though, are no collaboration; perhaps we might more properly call them a transubstantiation."
Pathological phonies — On the surface, this seems like a situation that could be easily avoided. MSCHF, however, has succeeded as a brand through its consistent borrowing and altering of other label’s products, as hinted by MSCHF’s name. Last year, the brand made MSCHF x Supreme x The North Face x Adidas x Stussy x Palace x Chinatown Market x Kith x Off-White x BAPE x Nike “impossible collaboration” T-shirts, stitching together all the brands’ tees to make one bootleg version MSCHF could profit off of.
In response to the shirt, MSCHF founder and CEO Gabriel Whaley told Insider he actually hoped to drive attention to it, noting that formal legal pushback would “help increase the value of the product.” According to Insider, “If MSCHF was told to pull the products, their resale value would immediately skyrocket among hypebeasts looking to get their hands on a ‘banned’ piece of unofficial, limited merchandise.”
MSCHF seems to be taking a similar stance with its “Birkinstocks,” but we’re not sure hypebeasts are able to cough up $76,000 for the brand’s bootleg sandals. The stunt, however, will no doubt drive an insane amount of traffic to MSCHF’s site and boost the brand overall.
The Fashion Law asked a representative for MSCHF whether the group is concerned about legal ramifications from either Hermès or Birkenstock, to which the representative answered "no." Nonetheless, she told TFL, “We do hope they see it!”