Crocs are cool now? How did we get here?

Crocs are cool now? How did we get here?

In the ever-changing landscape of fashion, some trends defy all odds, emerging from the depths of obscurity and weasel their way in to mainstream wardrobes. One such phenomenon is the resurgence of Crocs – the once-forbidden jutsu of footwear that has defied expectations to become shockingly popular in 2023 and continues to soar in popularity ever since. But as with any fashion trend, there's more to the story than meets the eye.

Growing up, Crocs were almost exclusively reserved toddlers, chefs, and what we like to call "BCF-dads." For the fashion-conscious, the mere thought of wearing a pair of the clogs was social suicide, god forbid Crocs AND socks. However, as the saying goes, fashion is a never-ending cycle, and what was once deemed revolting can and has achieved salvation.

The journey of Crocs' resurgence began long before they lined the windows of mainstream retailers. Like many trends, it started on the runway, where high fashion labels pushed the boundaries of creativity to the extreme. In 2017, Balenciaga sent shockwaves through the fashion world with exaggerated, cartoonish Croc designs that seemed more suited for a Bratz doll rather than a runway model. Whilst the initial reaction of the general public was one of overwhelming revolt, runway looks are always the most abstract ideas of designers that have been pushed to the limit. It was only a matter of time before more wearable renditions would set the wheels in motion for what was to come.

By 2019, the tide began to turn as celebrities like Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj embraced the unconventional footwear, with their star status beginning to influence the rigid opinions of their fans. Additionally, collaborations, such as Post Malone's partnership with the brand, along with the pollex clogs put forward by Salehe Bembury to further legitimise Crocs in the eyes of the fashion-forward crowd.

Throughout 2020 and 2021, Crocs continued to gain traction among fashion-forward communities, with notable collaborations with respected brands in the streetwear scene. From Pleasures to Carrots, Crocs found themselves at the forefront of collaborations that blurred the lines between high fashion and streetwear, bringing hype to the silhouette and leaving many fans of the brands questioning wether they themselves would ever wear a pair.

However, it wasn't until 2023 that Crocs truly cemented their place in the mainstream fashion zeitgeist. With non-collaborative Crocs readily available at popular clothing outlets such as Universal Store and Footlocker and knockoff versions popping up at fast fashion retailers like Cotton On, the trend reached a tipping point, seeping its way onto the dogs of even the least style-conscious segments of the population.

What may have seemed like a sudden explosion of Crocs onto the fashion scene was, in reality, the culmination of years of trend-building. From the runway to celebrity endorsements and collaborations, Crocs followed the typical trajectory of a fashion trend, starting from the fringes of the elite and avant garde and gradually infiltrating the mainstream.

So, the next time you slip into a pair of Crocs, remember that behind their newfound popularity lies a journey of innovation, creativity, and daring fashion choices. After all, in the world of fashion, trends may come and go, but the spirit of reinvention is eternal.

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