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BIRKENSTORIES


Birkenstories are the tales and portraits of people in BIRKENSTOCKS all over the world, whether a taxi driver in New Delhi, an American Nobel laureate, a papaya farmer from the jungle of Borneo, or an eccentric German manufacturer of expedition vehicles. They focus on characters who are unique – some in a big way, some in a little way. And they have all been committed wearers of BIRKENSTOCKS for years.


BIRKENSTORY #27
Nicholas Vreeland, Abbot of the Rato Dratsang Monastery in Southwest India

"He will never be the abbot. His nose is too big."
NICHOLAS VREELAND
"He will never be the abbot. His nose is too big"
The story of Nicholas Vreeland, Buddhist monk and only Western head of a Buddhist monastery, starts in the early 1980s, when the diplomat’s son left his expensive tailor-made shoes on the streets of New York and chose to live a simple life in simple sandals. Birkenstock visited the extraordinary man.


BIRKENSTORY #26
ATHÉNAÏS DE BÉRU – FORMERLY A BANKER, NOW A GROWER OF BIODYNAMIC WINES IN BURGUNDY

“I DID PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING I WAS TOLD”
ROBERT RUTFORD
“I DID PRECISELY THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING I WAS TOLD”
Athénaïs de Béru was once a banker, but in 2006 she took on her family’s 500-year-old wine-growing estate in the village of Béru in Burgundy. Traditions are strong here and people do things in a certain way. “I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but I did precisely the opposite of everything they told me,” Athénaïs told us.


BIRKENSTORY #25
MAYA WASOWICZ – KARATE FIGHTER AND EXCEPTIONAL ATHLETE

“FEELING FEAR IS PART OF LOSING.”
ROBERT RUTFORD
“FEELING FEAR IS PART OF LOSING.”
In the opinion of her coach, Maya Wasowicz is one of the ten best karate fighters in the world. When the Polish-born moved to New York at the age of eleven, she did not speak a single word of English. Her passion for sports introduced her to karate. Here, she could express herself perfectly.

Her big dream these days: to represent the USA and her discipline for the first time in the Olympics in Tokyo.

We talked to the Pan-American champion and third in the world championships about her unusual career and why the 25-year-old likes to wear Birkenstocks during victory ceremonies.


BIRKENSTORY #24
CHARLIE STRONG – PROFESSIONAL AMERICAN FOOTBALL COACH

“RULE NO. 1: HONESTY. RULE NO. 2: TREAT ME WITH RESPECT”
ROBERT RUTFORD
“RULE NO. 1: HONESTY. RULE NO. 2: TREAT ME WITH RESPECT”
Charlie Strong is a professional American football coach. His goal? To give young men a place in life. His formula? Honesty, respect, and team spirit. He told us what the title “first African American head coach in Texas” means to him.


BIRKENSTOCK WANTS YOU


Do you know any fascinating BIRKENSTOCK wearers whose story is just waiting to be told? Whoever it is, be it someone you know personally, a random discovery while on vacation, or anyone else anywhere else, we look forward to receiving all your suggestions.




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