crocs on the runway: from dream to reality

Following in the divisive footsteps of Birkenstocks, Tevas, and shower slides, Crocs have officially made their catwalk debut via a collaboration with Christopher Kane. Here's why the food world's favorite rubber clog could soon be a front row staple.

by Hannah Ongley
19 September 2016, 7:30pm

Earlier this year, Juicy Couture made an appearance at actual couture week courtesy of the remixing wizards at Vetements. Today at London Fashion Week, Christopher Kane continued the trend of extending a friendly arm to maligned 2000s brands by debuting an official collaboration with Crocs. Each model wore a pair of Kane's souped-up, wet-look Fashion Crocs studded with crystal geodes — a far cry from the plastic Jibbitz studs that Crocs fans typically use to bling out their footwear. With Birkenstocks, Tevas, Uggs, and shower slides all having recently enjoyed a high-end resurgence, it was really only a matter of time before Crocs also made it to the catwalk. They also snuck into Collina Strada's forward-thinking presentation in New York last week.

This isn't the first time that Crocs have infiltrated the fashion world. In February the divisive rubber clogs were featured in a Teen Vogue normcore editorial, while last year we noted their presence on off-duty fashion people summering on Fire Island. Seven years before she appeared on stage in Vetements' mutated, metallic Manolo Blahniks, Rihanna was seen Finding Her Fun in basic grey Crocs. Model and street style fave Hanne Gaby Odiele owns at least one pair. Clearly they're not just the territory of chefs and small children.

If anyone is capable of bringing Crocs out of the periphery and into the spotlight, it's Kane. The designer's Ugly Shoe Resumé so far includes feather-embellished neoprene sneakers fastened with his signature plastic safety buckles, embellished pool slides with Teva-inspired velcro ankle straps, and a Birkenstock-inspired tribute to late Central Saint Martins legend Louise Wilson. Phoebe Philo of "Furkenstock" fame and Miuccia Prada of spring/summer 14's embellished flatform Tevas would also make good candidates — luckily Paris and Milan fashion weeks are just around the corner. As far as we know, fashion is yet to attempt a top-of-the-line toe shoe.

As with most things Croc-related, Kane's latest collaboration has not been an unequivocal hit with the internet. But as with most things fashion ends up fawning over, this is probably a great sign. As J.W. Anderson told The Independent in 2012, "When you find something really new, I always find it's really ugly because your eye isn't used to it." We'd have to agree. At least until Vibram FiveFingers hooks up with Louis Vuitton. 


Text Hannah Ongley

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