Step 1: Denial
You’re walking down the street and you see an old man in super short shorts with leathery old legs, on his feet- socks and sandals. This is normal; this is what you always see; old men running around town or mowing their lawn in good, old, thick, knit socks and Velcro sandals.
You’re then walking around scouting the latest street style and you encounter the trendiest group of ladies. You look at their outfit thinking “wow I need to snap a pic; they look good.” You scan over what these girls are wearing and then you see their feet decked out in white socks and Nike pool slides, Adidas pool slides and BIRKINSTOCKS! There’s no way these fashionable people are wearing socks and sandals!
You walk away bothered by what you just saw thinking “what has happened to fashion, that will never catch on!”
Step 2: Anger
A few weeks pass and all you see are people in Birkenstocks, you work at a shoe retailer and all you are selling are Birkenstocks. You are sick and tired of selling Birkenstocks.
Out with girlfriends at the bar and one of your girls is wearing socks and slides and you scream and leave because no guy is going to hit on a group of girls when one of them has socks and sandals on! There go your free drinks for the night, so your high-heeled swollen toes carry you home: sober and REALLLLLY angry.
Step 3: Bargaining
You’ve sold so many Birkenstock knockoffs you are slowly getting used to the trend. After seeing a million people try them on you’ve encountered some “alright” ways you can wear them. But no chance you’ll wear actual brown Birkenstocks. They need to be black leather and platforms; that way you still get height but also the Birkenstock look everyone, for some reason, likes.
Step 4: Depression
You take your brand new pair of platform Birkenstocks home and try them on with all your clothing; you can’t wrap your head around the idea of wearing Birkenstocks. Too many unfashionable things come to mind when you hear that name. You picture your grandmother gardening in hers and the dirty heel prints from being worn day after day weeding and planting tomatoes.
You put your Birkenstocks in the closet next to your Jeffrey Campbell’s. Sitting there staring at them next to the beauties that are your Mulder platform boots, you start to cry. Now you’re stuck with these shoes that you’re never going to wear and they don’t even look good in your closet.
Step 5: Acceptance
You were browsing local boutiques’ Instagrams when you come across Hey Jude’s and you see a picture from their Eco Fashion Week show. On the feet of every model is a pair of socks and pool slides. How has this thing you hated more than anything made it onto the runway…and actually looks good? You take another look at your Birks and try another outfit. It. Is. Perfect. You then proceed to buy various colours of Birks and pool slides and get annoyed when people try to borrow your crisp white socks because “hey man those are for my sandals.”
Savannah Cochrane, JCI Fashion Grad