Crocs are set to make a serious comeback this summer. The shoes have been slowly elevating themselves from one of the most frowned upon footwear to a street-style staple since late last year.
New versions of the plastic shoes are trending on social media as well as on international runways. They are sleeker and come in trendy pastel colours that will go with just about anything in your cupboard. Worn by toddlers and fashionistas, it’s interesting to see the turnaround.
But not everyone is convinced and some are still sceptical of the slip-resistant shoe that has been popular with the older generation and those who prioritise comfort over trends.
The Washington Post reported in September last year that the new wave was the result of four years of strategic changes, following a $200million investment by private equity giant Blackstone Group in 2013.
Since then, Crocs has closed hundreds of under-performing stores, done away with unpopular styles and shifted its focus back to its classic clog, which sells for about $35 (R503) and accounts for nearly half of the company’s sales.
Originally designed in 2002 as the ultimate boat “shoe”, the classic Croc, characterised by its light-weight foam mould and chunky design, quickly found popularity as a practical and everyday footwear choice.
Since its first appearance, the classic clog has been enjoyed as a sensible style statement for beach-lovers, gardeners, sportsmen and woman, chefs, medical practitioners, mothers, fathers, grandparents and children experiencing their first shoes.
The company has sold more than 300 million pairs to date. Now you can find them covered in glitter and emblazoned with the likes of Minnie Mouse, Spiderman and Batman.
Following in the footsteps of those consumers happy to trade vogue for mobility and protection, fashion designers and trending fashionistas are identifying Crocs’ clean lines and functionality with favour and incorporating its first classic look into 2018 fashion statements that have elicited a resurgence in its popularity and demand; delivering sell-out responses to the latest cutting-edge spring collections which feature new colours, fur-lining and add-on charms affectionately referred to as “jibbitz” and “Croc-olytes”.
By appealing to more style-conscious consumers, Croc’s new look accounts for almost half of its sales since it was first revealed on the fashion runway in October 2017 as part of the Balenciaga S/S Collection. Featuring rhinestone-encrusted classic lines, it featured as part of award-winning British fashion designer Christopher Kane’s collection at London Fashion Week in February 2018 and was walked down the Gucci Cruise 2018 runway.
“When Balenciaga approached us, we were intrigued by the opportunity to push the boundaries of our design and moulding capabilities to see what we could create together,” said Crocs’ senior vice-president of global product and marketing, Michelle Poole.
“Working with Balenciaga has been so much fun for our team, and once again demonstrates the relevance of our iconic clog.”
Curious, I recently took a pair of fuchsia pink Crocs on a walkabout and was impressed by how light and airy they felt on my feet
The minimalist design goes with just about any outfit and the shoes are super comfortable. Whether you are sold by the new look or not, it looks like they are here to stay for a few more seasons.