Since the revival of “ugly” shoes, Birkenstocks have become the “it” sandal many have not only have grown to love, it’s become the go-to staple that provides comfort, ultimate chicness and just the right dose of ugliness that everyone so craves these days.
From Gigi Hadid to Kendall Jenner to the Olsen sisters, celebrities and fashion gurus everywhere are signing off on the shoe, pushing designers everywhere to put their very own mark on these so-called “ugly” sandals.
Many designers like Valentino and Rick Owens have even looked to reimagine the shoemaker’s iconic offering via collaborations, while others such as French luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent have looked to put their own spin on the design through creations of their own.
A new take on coded luxury
Yves Saint Laurent has made several variations of the ugly sandal, with some featuring simple black leather to others featuring calf hair. Recently, I picked up a pair from their Fall collection: the Jimmy Sandal featuring leopard print and calf hair. I loved this pair so much because not only were they cute and funky, but they essentially created a new take on coded luxury – a new term I learned thanks to Charles Gross on TikTok, this time putting a higher-end take on a very trendy yet attainable shoe.
Coded luxury – Not knowing whether an item is by a luxury designer or not. I.e. black Manolo Blahnik pump.
A vibrant approach to a basic sandal
While the use of calf hair on the Saint Laurent Jimmy Leopard-Print Calf Hair Sandals created a very rich look, the photos were not convincing enough for me to splurge on an $845 pair of sandals. In-person, however, the calf hair gives the leopard print a much more authentic and vibrant look.
While I normally stick to neutral color tones when it comes to dressing up, having the Saint Laurent Jimmy Leopard-Print Calf Hair Sandals to complete my outfit helped me add some much-needed flair.
The perfect transitional and durable sandal
These pair of sandals not only do well for summer but also transition well into fall, even on those colder nights, making the shoebie look, which according to Urban Dictionary, is someone who wears sandals and socks at the same time, totally appropriate but a bit more ugly chic.
To justify purchasing these beauties, unlike many other variations of the Birkenstock Arizona sandal, the Saint Laurent Jimmy Leopard-Print Calf Hair Sandals not only offer great traction but they’re also extremely durable and comfortable as they feature cork and rubber soles and have contoured footbeds for added comfort.
I love these so much that prior to purchasing these sandals about three years ago, I purchased the same Saint Laurent Jimmy Sandals but in plain black leather and to this very day, they’re still in pristine shape. What’s more, I still get compliments when I wear them.
To better explain, if you’re as clumsy as me, not only is traction at the bottom of the sole imperative but having a durable material is critical as I tend to be very hard on my shoes. For comparison, I previously purchased a pair of Louis Vuitton Bom Dia slide mules and after one wear, I noticed a knick. That made me realize these shoes weren’t a match for me, so I quickly posted them on my Poshmark account to sell at a discount, noting the damage.
An investment worth making
While the shoe is essentially a splurge and can be mistaken for Birkenstocks, if you have a taste for designer but love to sport coded luxury and keep durability and cost-per-wear on top of mind, the Saint Laurent Jimmy Leopard-Print Calf Hair Sandals are worth the purchase. And if leopard print isn’t your style, Saint Laurent offers the Jimmy Sandals in various other prints and/or colors every season.