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Style We're in the Midst of the Crocs Renaissance. Panic (or Celebrate) Accordingly.

15:00  25 september  2020
15:00  25 september  2020 Source:   esquire.com

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Crocs are in the midst of a renaissance, spanning normal guys and celebs alike. Panic (or celebrate) accordingly. © Mike Kim Crocs are in the midst of a renaissance, spanning normal guys and celebs alike. Panic (or celebrate) accordingly.

A few weeks ago, Succession star Nicholas Braun posted an Instagram story; in it, he expressed a strange new desire that had suddenly awoken within him. He needed to own Crocs. Now, as he is a celebrity and Crocs is a brand, it may not shock you to learn that a few days later he followed up with another Instagram story of him enthusiastically unboxing a large assortment of Crocs and Jibbitz (the little charms you pop in them) gifted to him. And we can infer that he liked them, seeing as he chose to wear a pair of Crocs to the 72nd Emmy Awards this past Sunday.

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Full disclosure: I am of the belief that Nicholas Braun would look good in anything (fuller disclosure: the man is 6 feet and 6 inches tall). But even still, his choice to finish his Paul Smith suit with a pair of Crocs for this year’s socially distant Emmy Awards is a bold one, and is one that has been noted by many, including The Cut and Harper’s Bazaar. Braun’s Emmy Crocs even featured personalized Jibbitz that spelled ‘Antibodies,’ the title of his virus-punk summer single. And though he certainly brought Crocs into The Discourse this week with his Black Tie Croc (free wedding dress code idea!) look, the Crocs renaissance was well underway before Braun stepped into a pair.

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Heck of a night!

A post shared by nicholasbraun (@nicholasbraun) on Sep 21, 2020 at 5:57pm PDT

But you can’t tell a renaissance story before the origin—let’s go back to 2002. It’s a simpler time. Ben Affleck is People’s Sexiest Man Alive; Michael Jackson’s baby balcony dangle incident is the biggest news story for actual weeks on end. Most importantly, Crocs are born. They are all-purpose camping/boating/gardening clog-like foamy shoes that come in an array of bright colors and are covered in holes. The consensus is that they are exceptionally ugly. And yet, by 2006, they are all the rage. George W. Bush makes headlines in 2007 after he’s spotted in a black pair. My first pair was turquoise (you never forget your first pair).

By 2016, high fashion had co-opted the goofy-looking, cumbersome shoe. Christopher Kane hit first, and then in 2017 Balenciaga’s head-turning chunky boi version came clomping down the runway, Jibbitz and all (you can get a used pair for $795 on the RealReal right now). Since then, Crocs has done lucrative collabs almost as well as the king of the disproportionately beneficial collaborations, DJ Khaled. Just a sampling: Post Malone, Takashi Murakami, Luke Combs, and Ruby Rose have all designed limited-release Crocs drops. Brand collaborations include releases with PLEASURES, Chinatown Market, Madewell, and BEAMS. You have to hand it to the good people at Crocs—they have the streetwear-heads wrapped around a pinky finger made of limited edition Croc foam, consistently asserting the relevance of Crocs among young, hip consumers whether they like it or not.

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a man standing next to a car: Justin Bieber, Croc Boy. © Shutterstock Justin Bieber, Croc Boy.

I must also take a moment to note the sheer genius of Crocs’ food collaborations this year, which I will not hesitate to call wearable contemporary art. The stupidly adorable Crocs x PEEPS Easter launch? The KFC collab which included chicken-scented Jibbitz (you just never know when those might come in handy) that sold out in less than half an hour? Is everyone having a bad 2020 except for Crocs? My entire Instagram feed at the end of the summer was disposable camera footage of people’s COVID-travel camping trips, and if you took a shot every time you spotted a pair of Crocs in one of those carousels you might need to seek out medical attention.

Coming soon! The saying is true, good things and Crocs that look like a bucket of fried chicken come to those who wait. Kentucky Fried Chicken x Crocs Classic Clogs are finally being served on July 28th at 12 PM ET. #KFCCrocs

A post shared by Crocs Shoes (@crocs) on Jul 23, 2020 at 5:00am PDT

Truthfully, Crocs is just the headliner of a big summer for ugly statement water shoes on the whole. Other players in the space include the Yeezy Foam Runner and the Merrell Hydro Moc, both sort of evolutionary post-Croc shoes. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times among others covered the Hydro Moc’s swift emergence onto the Fashion Boi scene this summer, and the NYT calls the shoes—which look like a toddler took two contrasting colors of Play-Doh and mushed them together into one strange sculpture—a “Croc gone wild.” Ugly shoes being trendy isn’t new, but six months into quarantine, perhaps we have pivoted to water shoes simply because they are comfortable. Maybe it’s because nothing really matters anymore. Whatever the reason, the Croc and Croc-adjacent renaissance is underway.

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a close up of some shoes: Classic Clog © crocs.com Classic Clog

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As it turns out, Nicholas Braun’s Emmy night Crocs (along with his Paul Smith suit) are up for auction for the next week, with the proceeds going to When We All Vote, a non-profit dedicated to increasing voter participation. If you want to buy them for me, feel free to reach out directly. I am moving this weekend and could use a new Size 13 coffee table art piece/Nicholas Braun shrine as a housewarming gift. It’s for a good cause!

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