Crocs are ugly!

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Issued by: Werner Koegelenberg

Nothing anyone says will convince me otherwise. I know it’s a billion-dollar brand that has been around for the last 20 years, but they are hideous. Originally designed as boat shoes but quickly co-opted by line-chefs and waitrons before becoming the uniform of pre-school kids who liked the happy colors, and norm-core suburban dads (who also liked the happy colors), they are now selling more units than ever before.

I am not one to judge and I don’t care who wears Crocs, but I am intrigued as to why people wear Crocs.  The reason behind the Crocs rage is not that the shoe is comfortable (apparently it really is), as the shoe was designed with comfort in mind from the start. Nor is it the fault of the pandemic that has accelerated consumers’ demand for athleisure wear.

Instead, it is a lot simpler. People now wear Crocs because hot people now wear Crocs. There is a certain caliber of hot person who is so aesthetically confident that they are beyond being defined by beautiful clothes and fashion trends. People who intentionally dress down to prove to the world they are more than their sartorial inclination.

These people are not ordinary people, and we will only ever know them through Tik Tok and Instagram. They have a certain je ne sais quoi that makes them seem God-like in our celebrity and influencer-obsessed culture. They range from celebrities and artists to streetwear tastemakers and designers of fashion houses.

Since 2017 the brand has worked with the likes of Christopher Kane, Demna Gvasalia, Post Malone, Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny, Takashi Murakami, et al. whilst the list goes on the one thing they have in common is that they are all hot. In an overt liberally woke culture, where we are all celebrating normality, the beauty within, and being all non-judgy, along comes a piece of colored plastic that looks like a cycling helmet for feet and through the power of collaborations and influencers achieves record-breaking revenues.

Marketing is simple; make a product famous. Now because most products are not intrinsically geared for fame the next option is to borrow someone else’s fame. We have seen several brands collaborate with celebrities, influencers, and other brands and the results that these partnerships have achieved. What makes a partnership authentic is that both parties involved should have the same vision and the collaboration should make sense – not only to the brand and the collaborator but most importantly their target audience.

Notably, sneaker collaborations have been successful for many years and Crocs is following suit. During the collaboration process Crocs allows for the collaborator to have free reign over the design process, allowing for the shoe to be authentic to the collaborator. Collaborating with prominent figures or brands means that Crocs gets to tap into a new target market.

Many followers of each collaborator had stated that prior to the release of a collaboration they might have never considered or even bought a pair of Crocs. This has allowed the brand to reach an untapped market and hopefully convert these first-time buyers into repeat customers. Fashion is nuanced and multi-faceted, and Crocs will continue to push boundaries with their bold designs and prints.

The brand has reminded everyone of the importance of collaboration, innovation, and personalization, and that encouraging your customers to, come as they are, and express themselves does pay off in the end. Also, they are worn by hot people.