Crocs Make A Chic Comeback On Designer Runway

This week during the spring/summer 2017 collections being shown in London, guests at the Christopher Kane show got a jolt when they saw one particular item that came sauntering down the runway.

There was no mistaking what it was, for it has a distinctive shape. On the model’s foot were a pair of Crocs. Yes, those hideous snoot-shaped foam-like sandals that were once a phenomenon almost a decade ago, were now on the fashion runway of one of Britain’s cool young hip designers.

But the Crocs Kane sent down the runway were not the Crayola-coloured ones the footwear company was famous for; instead, the designer did his version in marbleized prints and added chunky crystal rocks.

He designer reportedly said he approached Crocs about doing this collaboration, which they agreed to.

“I wanted to bring my own stamp and DNA to Crocs’ classic clog and achieve something really special. The marble print feels very earthy and I often think of Crocs shoes in a very grounded way, worn with either an evening dress or with jeans and adding the rock crystals brings a bit of luxury to this everyday style.” he told The Daily Mail.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: A model walks the runway at the Christopher Kane show during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer collections 2016/2017 on September 19, 2016 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)

It’s the kind of support and media attention Crocs need just about now. During its heyday, back in 2006, the comfy sandals—ugly as they are—were embraced by fans with an almost religious fervour. They were worn by a range of consumers from kids to professionals (doctors and nurses), celebrities (Chef Mario Batali made the orange pair his signature style) and even presidents (George W. Bush).

But Crocs also had its fair share of haters. There was even a website—www.ihatecrocs.com—which gleefully demonstrated the many ways to destroy the ubiquitous sandal. Despite the love/hate relationship people had with the footwear, the company topped more than $1 billion in sales. But the economic downturn of 2008—not to mention that it fell out of favour as numerous knock-offs were flooding the market—took a toll and Crocs had to make huge cutbacks within the company.

But even at the height of its popularity, where it seemed everyone owned a pair, there was one group Crocs never won over—the fashionistas. Not that they were a group immune to embracing ugly shoes. Fashion folk adopted Birkenstocks, Tevas, UGGS and Dr. Martens and in the process made these footwear cool, chic and desirable.

But it looks like Crocs might just have finally won them over with this small step on an international runway.

As Vogue.com declared of the Crocs on Christopher Kane’s runway, “…they are now, in a miraculous turn of events, suddenly, weirdly, absolutely, ridiculously chic.”