Crocs shock as ‘fashion faux-pas’ rubber shoes have a renaissance

Shoppers seeking comfortable footwear during the pandemic have sent sales soaring

Questlove wears gold Crocs to the Oscars,  at Union Station in Los Angeles. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Questlove wears gold Crocs to the Oscars, at Union Station in Los Angeles. Photograph: Chris Pizzello/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

 

Despite once being considered a fashion faux-pas, Crocs have seen their sales soar in the first three months of the year, as the rubber-shoe brand celebrated record demand from shoppers seeking comfortable footwear during the pandemic.

The company’s revenues climbed by 64 per cent in the first quarter of the year, reaching a record-breaking $460 million, or €381 million, in news that came just days after a gold pair of Crocs appeared on the Oscars red carpet, sported by Questlove, the awards’ musical director.

“Demand for the Crocs brand is stronger than ever, with expected 2021 revenue growth of 40 per cent to 50 per cent,” says Andrew Rees, Crocs’ chief executive.

The Fashion website Who What Wear declared last December that “2021 is set to be the year of the Croc”. The forecasters have been proved right.

When they first appeared, the rubber clogs were initially marketed at sailors and watersport enthusiasts, because they are made from a lightweight and odour-resistant resin, before becoming a fashion phenomenon in the mid-noughties.

But the shoes soon fell out of fashion, and Crocs teetered on the brink of bankruptcy in 2009, after making a loss of $185 million the previous year. The latest turnaround began when Crocs launched high-profile partnerships with designer fashion houses, including Balenciaga and Christopher Kane.

Although they have remained much loved by gardeners and workers in hospitals and hospitality venues whose jobs require them to stand for long periods, the shoes have been enjoying a fully fledged fashion renaissance in recent months thanks to high-profile collaborations with pop artists including Justin Bieber, whose Croc designs are embellished with cartoon animals.

Launching his version, the pop star announced: “I wear Crocs all the time, so designing my own pair came naturally.” – Guardian

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