Rudy Haslbeck, Birkenstock’s director of product & design to date, has left the company on short notice during the week before last, pursuing new challenges.
As it arose from enterprise-related insiders, the decision to go separate ways was initiated by Birkenstock. The German cork-sole quality footwear brand has experienced great trend-fueled popularity during the recent years. However, as an insider highlighted, Birkenstock is all about the product and its quality, not about pursuing trends. It was important to further develop the product, but the corridor to do so was much smaller than at more fashion-driven footwear companies. Therefore, whoever was working as a designer for Birkenstock had to keep a low profile.
It remains unsure if and when Haslbeck’s position will be filled anew.
Two months ago, Yvonne Piu was hired to lead the Birkenstock Group’s marketing and product department. She will be responsible for the further development of the product, especially in a strategical sense, for instance by unlocking new price segments for the brand, both in the upper and lower direction.
“Fashionable makeovers keep our brand young and fresh, but our growth is mainly driven by long-term strategical measures”, said Jochen Gutzy, head of communications.
Rudy Haslbeck joined the Birkenstock brand in May 2013 and previously held brand managing positions at Gabor Footwear, Arcandor Group, Clarks and Adidas.