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Wait, when did Crocs become cool again?

4 min read
https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/life/2021/06/10/crocs-why-footwear-trending-and-how-style-them/7528028002/
Zoë Hennessey, a Los Angeles-based fashion stylist
There’s definitely a comfort factor. Just in general, if you look at fashion, it’s constantly going a little bit more casual and a little bit more comfortable… Once the pandemic hit, I think we really just jumped into comfort zone.

“Comfort has been key in bringing support to the drastic lifestyle changes that consumers experienced,” she notes. “They want to wear something that feels good and can be worn with multiple looks.”

Another factor is Gen Z taking interest in the brand.

“The youths have informed me Crocs are back in but only with socks, you are welcome for the intel,” writes @KatyMiller100.

As @samcubarman explains it, the Crocs comeback perhaps illustrates Gen Z’s approach to life: “They accept no status quo. They have no interest in compromise. They will rewrite everything.”

Luke Combs’ Crocs an instant sell-out

AP, AP

Hennessey says it’s common that younger people start off fashion trends. For example, straight leg jeans are now trendy thanks to Gen Z declaring Millennial-favorite skinny jeans are out of style.

While Hennessey sees Gen Z propelling the trend in a fashion-forward sense, she adds older generations may love the shoe for its functionality. The buyer-friendly price point (with a classic clog running about $50) also appeals to consumers.

The pre-pandemic rise of Crocs

Prior to 2020, Crocs was known for marketing special drops tied to collaborations with key artists and brands, including their collab with Post Malone in 2018. Correa says this helped spark attention from Gen Z consumers. 

As recently as this week, Crocs made headlines for some of their latest collaborations, including a tie-dye shoe line with Diplo that dropped Tuesday (and sold out in hours) and a collaboration with Balenciaga for a stiletto-style clog

Prior to that, big names like Justin Bieber, Luke Combs and even Kentucky Fried Chicken came out with custom Crocs.

FROM TOP: Questlove wore gold Crocs to the 2021 Oscars. Diplo x Crocs sandal sold out in hours. Justin Bieber’s Crocs were another popular Crocs collab.
FROM TOP: Questlove wore gold Crocs to the 2021 Oscars. Diplo x Crocs sandal sold out in hours. Justin Bieber’s Crocs were another popular Crocs collab.
CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Questlove wore gold Crocs to the 2021 Oscars. Diplo x Crocs sandal sold out in hours. Justin Bieber’s Crocs were another popular Crocs collab.
CHRIS PIZZELLO, AP; CROCS

Crocs have also made their way onto the red carpet. Questlove made a statement by sporting a golden pair to the Academy Awards in April.

“Celebrity influence is so huge,” Hennessey notes, adding that the brand’s creative marketing – including the the collab with KFC – is “kind of hilarious” but “genius.”

In addition to collaborations and the comfort trend, Cooley believes another factor in the brand’s growth is personalization through accessories and different shoe styles, which now go beyond clog silhouettes with sandals, boots, flats and more. 

Crocs’ Jibbitz charms, for example, enable wearers to change up the appearance of their shoes, Cooley explains.

Revenues for Jibbitz charms more than doubled during Q1 2021, she added.

Hennessey says she sees the the shoes sticking around for at least two more years before they’re completely saturated. 

A pair of Crocs with Jibbitz charms, a pair of platform Crocs and sandals.
A pair of Crocs with Jibbitz charms, a pair of platform Crocs and sandals.
A pair of Crocs with Jibbitz charms, a pair of platform Crocs and sandals.
CROCS

“I think it’s got some more longevity,” she says. “If they keep doing cool collaborations and coming up with interesting concepts, it probably has even a longer staying power.”

Correa believes the comfort shoe trend will continue to evolve as consumers look for multi-functional footwear.

“Comfort and practicality will be key across different footwear styles,” she says. “In regards to the iconic silhouette of the Crocs, they have already won a place in the consumer’s closet, whether they stay at home or not.”

Tips on how to style Crocs

If you’re looking to rock a pair of Crocs yourself, there are multiple ways to style them.

For a casual look, Hennessey suggests styling them with cropped jeans or shorts and a T-shirt.

And don’t be afraid to pair your sandals with socks, either.

“I’ve seen them look really cute with socks,” she says.

If you’re looking for a more polished look, try pairing them with a sundress or a pair of shorts and tee tucked in with a belt.

“I’ve also seen them look super cute with baggy pants and a blazer,” she says.

If you’re looking to create longer and leaner lines, go for the platform style. The bulkiness creates contrast, making your legs look longer, she explains.

Published
2:24 pm UTC Jun. 10, 2021

Updated
2:24 pm UTC Jun. 10, 2021

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