How Crocs went from frumpy to fashionable

How Crocs went from frumpy to fashionable

Has there ever been a shoe more divisive than the Croc?

Ask the average person how they’d feel about sporting a pair of the clunky clogs and their response will likely fall into the love or loathe categories – never in-between.

Fans of the foam footwear say they’re light, comfortable and the non-slip soles make them perfect for activities such as gardening, walking in wet weather and boating (the purpose for which they were originally intended).

Haters say they are, quite simply, the ugliest shoes ever to exist and that no matter how practical the round-toed shoes are, they wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair.

A few years back, fashion industry folk would certainly have fallen into the latter camp – not even street style renegades would try to make Crocs happen.

But then something happened. Crocs appeared on the catwalk for the first time in 2016, and since then they’ve been embraced by a variety of celebrities and high fashion brands.

So, to celebrate Crocs Day, here we look back at how the controversial clogs became cool…

Christopher Kane Crocs

The Croc-naissance began at London Fashion Week, when Christopher Kane showed Crocs as part of his spring/summer 2017 collection.

A cut above your average clogs, they came in muted tones such as mustard, teal and black, and were encrusted with sparkly gems.

The Scottish designer, who is known for subverting unusual styles on the runway, continued to collaborate with Crocs, showing fur-lined versions the following season.

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Christopher Kane is not done with Crocs

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Balenciaga Crocs

Later the same year, Balenciaga became the next high-end label to jump on the Crocs bandwagon, debuting pink platform clogs covered in kitsch plastic charms on their spring/summer 2018 catwalk.

(Balenciaga/PA)
(Balenciaga/PA)

It wasn’t an entirely surprising move from the French brand that previously sold a £1,600 ‘Ikea bag’, with creative director Demna Gvasalia telling Vogue: “It’s light, it’s a one-piece foam mould and to me these kind of techniques and working with these kind of materials is very Balenciaga.”

The following year, Balenciaga unveiled Croc-inspired stiletto heels in bubblegum pink, complete with punched holes and covered in the same charms as the platform variety.

Celebrity ambassadors

In 2018, Drew Barrymore was unveiled as the face (and feet) of Crocs, before American actor and director Zooey Deschanel and Game of Thrones star Natalie Dormer took over as ambassadors for the brand.

“When Crocs asked me to be a part of their ‘Come As You Are’ campaign, I was excited to have the opportunity to join a fun and colourful brand, but more importantly, have the opportunity to inspire others to embrace their individuality,” Deschanel said at the time.

But many fans found it an incongruous partnership, wondering whether the stylish star really was a fan of the foam clogs or if this was a deal she just couldn’t turn down.

Pizzaslime Crocs

To mark Croc Day 2019, the footwear firm has unveiled a collaboration with streetwear brand Pizzaslime.

The limited edition white Crocs come with an array of glow in the dark charms – the first of their kind – and a UV light for an extra surprise.

Priced at £49.99, they go on sale today on the Crocs website and are predicted to sell out within hours, so you’ll have to be quick if you want snap up a pair.

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#CrocDay is tomorrow. Get your pair - brought to you by @pizzaslime Croctober 23rd at 10:23 AM EDT

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