Ever wondered what it would be like to own a pair of smelly old Birkenstocks? Well, now you could for the competitive price of $60,000. The pair in question are up for auction, having once belonged to Apple co-founder and tech legend Steve Jobs, who was known for his particularly distinct fashion sense.
While the tech industry implodes around us – amidst $44 billion dollar Twitter buyouts and the fall of crypto, the world needs some lighter fare to help it sleep at night. Apple, the worlds leading smartphone and computing company, reached its peak in popularity thanks to the late Steve Jobs. Jobs was the co-founder of apple, alongside Steve Wozniak, and pioneered smartphone technology and product design. One struggles to imagine what the world would look like had Apple’s iPod and iPhone not come out to set the bar for phone technology.
We can all remember the pitched tents, queuing into the night, and the sleep-deprived buzz of excitement that would swirl around the news cycle every time a new apple product would come out. Though these heady days might seem ludicrous in hindsight, it was simply the modus operandi of the time, people were head over heels for Apple. Jobs played no small part in this global hype train. For one, Jobes was viewed as a genius, with an inspiring story of working out of his garage to global success. Moreover, though not especially beguiling, Jobs had a charm that endeared him to people. Part of this charm derives from his unique and distinctive fashion choices.
Far from the bespoke Italian suits that flood the offices of Wall Street, the tech industry has always slanted toward a more laid-back approach to fashion. What need does a tech nerd have with a suit when comfort comes knocking? Thus gave way to these signature ‘dressed down’ looks: Zuckerberg’s blue tee, Bezos’ ridiculous cowboy hat, and the Jobs black turtleneck.
They have become iconic looks in their own right and none more iconic than Jobs’ wardrobe. Hence why in 2022 Jobs’ famous Birkenstock open-toed sandals went up for auction on Friday and are expected to fetch anywhere from $60,000 to $80,000 according to the auction house, Julien’s Auctions.
The shoes, which had previously been a staple of Jobs’ lookbook back in the 1970s and 80s, were spared from the trash heap by the man responsible for Jobs’ properties – Mark Sheff. It is no doubt that in the time since Jobs wore them to their time at auction they must have worked up quite the funk, which should prompt any prospective buyer to probably store them safely in a smell-proof glass cabinet.
The description of the item on Julien Auctions website reads as follows:
The sandals have been a part of multiple exhibitions, including but not limited to Salone del Mobile in Milano, Italy in 2017, at the Birkenstock Headquarters in Rahms, Germany in 2017, at Birkenstock’s first United States store in SoHo, New York, at IMM Koln, a furniture fair in Cologne, Germany, Zeit Event Berlin for the magazine Die Zeit in 2018, and most recently with the History Museum Wurttemberg in Stuttgart, Germany.
During the sandals’ display with Birkenstock company, Steve Jobs ex-partner (and mother of Steve Jobs first child, Lisa Brennan-Jobs) Chrisann Brennan had the opportunity to view, hold and talk about this iconic staple of his wardrobe while being filmed. She got emotional and excited to be reunited with and hold Steve Jobs iconic sandals after three decades.In an interview with Vogue titled “Apple Meets Birkenstock,” Brennan mentions:
“The sandals were part of his simple side. They were his uniform. The great thing about a uniform is that you don’t have to worry about what to wear in the morning.” She continued, “He would never have done or bought anything just to stand out from others. He was simply convinced of the intelligence and practicality of the design and the comfort of wearing it. And in Birkenstocks he didn’t feel like a businessman, so he had the freedom to think creatively.”LOT #1239 STEVE JOBS: PERSONALLY OWNED AND WORN BIRKENSTOCK SANDALS (WITH BOOK) – WITH NFT
Though crypto and NFTs are quickly becoming a thing of the past, the sandals have also been listed alongside a free NFT of the sandals, not yet out of the rearview.
Since Bidding started at 10:00 a.m. ET on Friday (11 November), and began with the starting price of $15,000, bidding has now closed with the shoes sold to the highest bidder at a wapping $218,750. Hopefully, the lucky and loaded individual who bought it is a size 14 or they really are just a store cupboard curio.