Imagine explaining to somebody 10 years in the past that the hottest sneakers of 2021 are Crocs.
Yes, Crocs. The holey rubber utility sneakers beloved by hard-working cooks, youngsters on the go and gardening grandmas. The ones that, in 2008, “Project Runway” guru Tim Gunn described as looking like “a plastic hoof” and mentioned: “If you want to dress to feel as though you never got out of bed, don’t get out of bed.”
But trendsetters like Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Priyanka Chopra and Bad Bunny have all launched unique collaborations, often decorated with goofy charms known as Jibbitz, with the model in the previous few years.
It’s paid off. Shares in the firm — based in 2001 and launched at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show, of all retro locations — hit an all-time high final week, with gross sales surging to $460 million in simply the first three months of 2021.
And whereas the pandemic lockdown had everybody ditching their heels and leather-based loafers for extra comfortable choices, it’s not solely answerable for the Crocs boom, says Noah Zagor, senior menswear editor at WGSN, a pattern forecasting group.
“We were heading this way anyway,” Zagor informed The Post.
He hyperlinks customers’ embrace of the bulbous, aggressively unattractive sneakers with the bigger dad-core pattern in vogue.
“It coincided with resort Hawaiian-style shirts” having a second, and is an element of a “crunchy, tourist, granola-style backpacking” aesthetic, he mentioned.
Besides, whereas older individuals could bear in mind them from the aughts as the ugly shoe, “I’m sure there are teenagers out there who see the Bad Bunny pair and have no negative connotation to Crocs,” he mentioned.
Another bonus: Crocs are available in brilliant colours and designs. “We’re all so joyless,” author Lauren Mechling, who runs the widespread Instagram web page @TheClogLife, informed The Post. Crocs have “almost a clownish jolliness” to them that’s a lot wanted throughout the pandemic.
Starting round $50 a pair for adults, they’re additionally reasonably priced.
“Many of us are unemployed or underemployed, Crocs are super cheap” and value considerably lower than stylish (and costly) Rachel Comey or No. 6 clogs, Mechling mentioned.
Although her followers initially protested when she posted pics of Crocs, they’ve modified their tune as celebrities proceed to be photographed in them. Questlove rocked them on the Oscars red carpet last week, and Nicholas Braun of “Succession” fame wore them to the Emmys in September. When Vice President Harris’ step-daughter Ella Emhoff launched a line of knitwear in February, she stated that “the dress is only allowed to be worn with Crocs.” Fashion icon Heidi Klum sported a yellow pair in January.
But not each star is on board. Last week, Victoria Beckham said she would “rather die” than put on the Crocs despatched to her by Justin Bieber. “Queer Eye” model skilled Tan France is equally turned off by the model. “Don’t wear Crocs … because nobody will sleep with you. If you want to remain celibate, wear Crocs,” he mentioned in 2020.
And although life is starting to return to regular and sales of “business” clothes are on the rise, Zagor doesn’t count on we’ll see the dying of Crocs anytime quickly.
“I don’t think they’ll fade away from the fashion light for a while,” he mentioned. “I feel guys are simply going to have Crocs of their arsenal of footwear, with loafers, a pair of Air Force Ones, Vans or Chucks.
“It just becomes, ‘That’s a practical shoe to have in my life,’” he mentioned.
As for ladies, Chopra — who, don’t neglect, is a model ambassador and paid to say issues like this — speculated about how she would put on them to a giant occasion.
“If I were to wear Crocs on a red carpet, I would wear the Crocs sandal because it has a heel. And I would wear that with a dress that had a slit, so that you can see one side of the leg and it would add length to it,” she informed Elle.
We’ll consider it after we see it.