In its go at "breaking the internet", crocsxKFC calls itself the 'deep fried fashion' that we didn't know we needed (and still don't)instagram/crocs

What do KFC, Priyanka Chopra, Post Malone and dental assistants have in common? A seemingly incomprehensible interest in crocs. Crocs, some of the shoes of the 2000s, experienced a rapid rise and fall, initially rising as a fashionable item and then immediately falling into obscurity. Personally, my third-grade self wore crocs religiously, collecting the small accessories and feeling overjoyed if I had a new diamond or face of Mickey Mouse. In hindsight, it is apparent that this product design is one of the crucial factors that got people obsessed with the clunky synthetic shoes in vibrant colours: crocs managed to fuse fashion with a toy, making the shoes accessible for kids in their versatility, and a simple item for the entire family to wear. Each model is available in every size and colour, the range is massive and the target audience is, well, everyone.

instagram/crocs

With the company being founded in Colorado just 18 years ago in 2002, the rise in sales and popularity could be described as exponential, yet this surge of interest was followed with a sudden drop in the enthusiasm for the no-longer-new invention. Crocs became a thing that no longer belonged to the immediate present, as the hype had simply exhausted itself. While being fun, new – a concept we might find on ‘Shark-Tank’ or 'Dragon's Den' – crocs are, to put it mildly, pretty ugly. Comfort is key, yet sweaty feet in synthetic shoes are, we would assume, the opposite of what we would call a comfortable walking experience.

Yet surprisingly it was not the general public but the ‘niche’ markets that prevented crocs from being thrust into disregard. Whether it be grandparents that wear crocs for their gardening, or dentists that have adapted crocs as an essential part of their white uniform, the shoes may have disappeared from street style, but have remained within unique industries. Their usefulness has manifested itself, allowing crocs to remain as functional wear. Redundant to some, indispensable to others. 

instagram/crocs

Then it happened: the crocs epidemic returned, and the plastic crocodile crept back into street style. Crocs found a new stylish audience to target, within the rise of ‘I-don't-care’ fashion. The mentality of this trend could be defined as the more questionable or conventionally ‘ugly’, the better. Crocs returned into pop-culture as the ugly is embraced and the consumer is left confused. Is fashion still serious? Is anything ugly? Why are we still wearing Crocs? So many questions, only answered by sudden statements such as Post Malone expressing his love of Crocs on Twitter. In a Mean Girls-esque moment, society realised that if Post Malone is wearing crocs, we should too. Golden Crocs with Gucci socks? Makes sense. A collaboration with KFC? Only Crocs could do it. Repeatedly appearing as a weirdly essential aspect of fashion culture, the brand has made their hundredth comeback until it essentially didn’t need to anymore. 

Crocs has seen its opportunity and taken hold of it, benefiting from the laidback nature of fashion and growing carelessness, with the desire to provoke what underpins our conception of ‘style’ nowadays. Yet, instead of being dismissed as a brand that no one wears, or that everyone wears to exhaustion, Crocs established its permanence through being part of the game, albeit in the background: charming and iconic without forcing this on the consumer.

"In partnership with @unicef, we’ll donate 50,000 pairs of Crocs to deserving children and provide them with a basic necessity which helps them attend school."instagram/crocs
instagram/crocs

Partnering with Priyanka Chopra and UNICEF, Crocs moved away from being the fortunate underdog that benefits from society’s sympathy. It has become a fashion giant with an ethical as well as humorous approach. Donating 50,000 pairs of shoes, Crocs associated itself with a moral conscience; a desire to give within the profit-driven industry with its pressure to be serious. Despite relying on luck with the behaviour and interests of its undefined target audience for much of its existence, Crocs created a reputation for itself as a respectable brand. Exclusive collections with Urban Outfitters founded its presence in mainstream consumerism, whereas its ‘normal’ range of shoes allow the young and the old to be targeted, instead of simply the youthful stylish elite. Crocs are undeniably unique, allowing themselves to engage with the market without a target, focusing on ethics, trends, brands, industries, families – surprisingly with success.


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Besides showing the power of a good PR and marketing team, Crocs demonstrate the force behind a brand born to be transient, but capable of establishing itself through not taking itself too seriously – listening and responding to the consumer, meanwhile keeping true to its vision, regardless of the changing market. Crocs has remained undeniably ‘Crocs’, never a part of any singular trend and thereby more durable than any trend will ever be. Strangely, whether or not Crocs knew what they were doing, the brand has managed to become an inseparable part of our fashion culture. Love them or hate them, Crocs are here to stay.

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