Crocs, yes Crocs, are cool again. Trust me, we were just as shocked. The clunky, plastic, hole-obsessed clown-like shoes are trending. When did this happen? And are they staying long? All relevant questions. We wondered the same thing and decided to investigate.
Crocs started in 2002 and had a great run in its initial years. They were used (and still are) for healthcare providers all over the world and by stay-at-home parents who needed a comfy shoe for errands. Eventually they were even seen on former President George W. Bush. However, it never took to the younger customer. In fact, a famous blog was even created by a high school student called ihatecrocs.com that was solely made to shit talk the brand and beg people not to wear the shoe.
Without the pull of the younger customer, in 2010 the brand was facing bankruptcy and on the verge of becoming irrelevant. That is until current CEO, Andrew Rees came to save the day. Rees credits all the success over the years to collaborations and personalization.
The collaborations started on the luxury runway at fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York. These partnerships with Balenciaga, Gucci and many more high fashion global brands launched the shoe brand into luxury and heightened visibility. The collaborations with Bad Bunny and Justin Bieber this year, encouraged younger consumers to purchase Crocs. After seeing the shoe on famous people’s feet, youngsters decided Crocs were cool.
Personally I refuse to believe Gen Z thinks Crocs are cool. As a Millennial, I think Gen Z are passionate about rebelling against the norm and decided Crocs were the perfect way to stand up against society’s previous view of Crocs being ugly and a bad invention. Also, teenagers are into transforming throwbacks with a modern take and can easily do this with Crocs.
Jocelyn Thornton, a Crocs employee stated, “Crocs hits the things that are important to consumers. The consumer is moving away from the conventional idea of beauty, and at the same time they’re definitely investing in products that are comfortable to the touch and comfortable to wear,” she said. “Right now, that generation of consumer does not feel beholden to a certain style standard that generations of the past have.”
I think it also helps that due to the pandemic with social distance and work from home at an all-time high, Crocs are getting high praise for their easygoing and comfortable footwear. But personalization definitely adds to the hype. Available in multiple colors and personalized with “jibbitz”, or charms, the customer is free to build out the Crocs of their dreams. “We wanted to move a little bit hipper, a little bit trendier and a little bit more fashion forward. Because a) they have spending power, b) they’re on social media, and c) through social media, they do influence a lot of other people,” Rees said in a interview.
If you’re still kicking yourself for not buying Zoom stock, Crocs stock could be just as lucrative. Even though the shoe is trendy now, it’s hard to tell if Crocs will be able to survive the stardom.
So what do you think? Could ugly be the latest trend?
Photo via Alife