1754: Birth of a legend
This is the church register entry of Johann Adam Birkenstock’s birth in 1754.
He was the first Birkenstock to become as shoemaker – without knowing he founded a family dynasty paving the way to our global brand.
1896: The footbed takes ist first steps
About 120 years later his great-grandson, master shoemaker Konrad Birkenstock opens two shoe stores in Frankfurt. He starts making and selling flexible footbed insoles.
1925: An idea conquers the world
Thanks to the increasing success of his insoles, Konrad Birkenstock starts looking for a larger production facility in 1925. He buys a factory in Friedberg, Hesse, with extensive grounds. As his customer base is expanding all the time, the insoles are produced day and night. The legendary Blue Footbed is already among the products manufactured.
1963: An icon is born
This is the year that gives rise to a revolutionary idea. Taking the flexible Birkenstock footbed with a cork and latex core, Karl Birkenstock develops his own sandal and launches the Madrid – the first-ever flexible sandal with a deep and flexible footbed – in 1963. Originally launched as gymnastics sandal and more or less unchanged to this day, this unmistakeable classic model lays the foundation for today’s comfort footwear market.
2013: The formation of the Birkenstock Group
This is the year that heralds one of the most significant turning points in the company’s history: Birkenstock becomes a corporation. The traditional company successfully makes the transition from a loose network of 38 separate companies to a group with three business units (production, distribution, services). The group is led by an executive team, which for the first time is not composed of family members – an unprecedented event in the company’s almost 240-year history. Markus Bensberg and Oliver Reichert are in charge of the activities of the Birkenstock Group.
2014: On to new shores
Birkenstock takes an important step forward. Its expands its product range, going beyond the borders of shoes and accessories for the first time. The main focus is on three themes: healthy sleeping, healthy living, and healthy working.
2017: Sleeping systems
Birkenstock is expanding its range of products with the Birkenstock Bed Collection. At IMM Cologne, the traditional family business unveils premium-quality beds, slatted frames, and mattresses. These products are the result of a partnership with premium manufacturer ADA – a family business of similar size and with a similar philosophy to Birkenstock.
Birkenstock Natural Skin Care
Most lately Birkenstock launches its first cosmetics line with Natural Skin Care. Birkenstock Natural Skin Care stands for certified natural cosmetics – made using the very best natural ingredients with proven benefits and a polished packaging concept. All the products have the BDIH Cosmos Natural quality seal and are thus subject to the strictest testing criteria. The Cosmos quality mark is an international standard for natural cosmetics that represents the world’s largest certification system for natural and organic cosmetics. It only allows ingredients that are extracted from renewable resources and manufactured in an environmentally friendly way.