Zappos' collaboration with Birkenstock

Zappos is kicking off a spate of exclusive collaborations to celebrate its 20th anniversary. A bit of trivia: the company’s original name,, in 1999 was changed to Zappos, so the product assortment could expand beyond shoes. Zappos is a play on zapatos, Spanish for, yes, shoes.

Zappos x Birkenstock, an emerald suede version of the traditional sandals with cork and rubber footbeds, for $180, dropped today. An Asics rose wine-inspired sneaker replete with the brand’s signature suction technology drops on Monday.

A race, the Zappos x Asics Rose 5K on Aug. 3, will take participants through the Maurice Car’rie Vineyard in Temecula, Calif., with four rose tastings along the course. Registration is at

August will see the launch of a 20th-anniversary shoe from Toms, the brand that gives free shoes to people in need, while Sam Edelman silhouettes with touches of emerald, will be delivered in custom gift bags. New Balance’s collaboration in October will feature neon accents. Brooks’ limited-edition sneakers bowing in November will have a cake theme — the glue used to assemble the shoes will be vanilla-scented. Ugg in December will lean into the holiday sweater theme with knitted Fair Isle boots.

“We’ve invested substantially in Instagram and we’re working with influencers and micro-influencers,” said Joe Grusman, general manager of e-commerce marketing at Zappos. “The quantities for the exclusive collaborations depend on the partner and how we feel about the time of year. Ugg will be a heavier quantity. However, we still want some sort of a scarcity model intact. These collaborations create buzz. The seven brands we partnered with will set us apart.”

Grusman, who hopes the limited-edition items become collectibles, isn’t worried that they’ll wind up on eBay. “Our customer base is so genuine, I don’t see them making it to the resale market,” he said.

Zappos’ anniversary sale officially starts on Monday, with 20 percent off and hourly mystery deals. Starting on Aug. 12, Zappos will offer a 110 percent price match guarantee.

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