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2021: The Year of The Croc

Like it or not, the controversial Crocs shoes have made the biggest comeback, and this trend shows no sign of declining soon. It is almost as if fashion is out to mock us with the emergence of far-out trends since the lockdown. Picture a 2020 plagued by Uggs, and the sudden trucker hat-cum-Y2k fashion craze. It shouldn’t surprise you, though. Now and then, the fashion industry digs into old fashion pieces and rubs them in our faces till they become the in-thing. 

Years ago, Crocs were prevalent as cleats for chefs, health care workers, kids—and parents of little kids who just loved the comfort. However, all that has shifted now, as the once execrated shoes are now sort of cool in the mainstream fashion scene. From the pandemic fashionistas matching their outfits with colorful crocs to edgy celebrities like Post Malone, Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Bad Bunny and more, donning on colorful Crocs paired with socks and other accessories, the chunky shoes have now become a fashion statement in recent times. They even made a red carpet debut! It’s a pandemic!

Questlove in gold Crocs at the 2021 Oscars

How Did This Happen?

The Crocs renaissance owes its successful comeback to intentional marketing, backed by its original design features that have benefited it. They designed these shoes for comfort—a factor that has topped the list of fashion consumers since the pandemic started. We now live in a pandemic-riddled world where consumers have turned to these repelling clogged shoes for year-round comfort. As laughable as that may sound, I’m here for it!

The Justin Bieber Crocs. Credit: Crocs.

However, this isn’t the first time Crocs are making a big statement. In 2016, Crocs made its runway debut sporting jibbitz charms on the Christopher Kane 2017 Spring Catwalk, while the platform Crocs by Balenciaga appeared first in 2018. Other designers like Gucci have since produced Crocs lookalikes, and word on the street is that the Yeezy Foam Runners are Crocs inspired. Over the years, the company has worked to intensify market placements and increase their visibility with limited celebrity collections that have boosted their sales. The ultimate market catalyst this year was the Nicki Minaj Instagram picture that triggered excitement among young people, causing a 4900% spike in demand for the colorful, vibrant chunky shoes and taking the trend to the hilt. Her pink Crocs with rhinestone Jibbitz single handedly converted hundreds of thousands of people and celebrities alike to Croc believers.

Nicki Minaj in May 2021. Source: Twitter

Individualism and Fashion Trends in 2021

Ugly fashion seems to attract a lot of attention because of its projection as freedom and expressionism for fashion enthusiasts who run wild and express their creativity with unique pieces. This is fascinating to the regular fashion consumer and although they would need much convincing, they also get hooked on these trends and become believers. One would say these new trends are a movement for young people who bask in their peculiarity and wear such colorful chunky shoes and other unconventional fashion pieces as a show of confidence.

The people over at Crocs Nigeria have launched a campaign targeted at what they call the ‘Every-Bodies’, the core value of this ‘come as you are’ movement, being inclusion and personalization. This colorful campaign is to highlight independence, celebrate young people and create a world for non conformists and people of different sexual orientations to embrace their identity, and express their individuality through retail partnership activation and collaborations with the creative industry. 

Dj Cuppy on Instagram: ‘Yep, @nickiminaj made me do it 🩴 #Crocs’

While few Nigerian celebrities like Dj Cuppy, Don Jazzy and Mercy Eke have posted pictures of them rocking Crocs, several people are still on the fence. I know you just asked yourself, ‘Why should I care about chunky ugly clog shoes?’ Fashion stylist and designer Highroller, a nonconformist who expresses his style in bold, daring and unconventional forms, is a lover of Crocs because they allow people a freedom to personalize them in ways that best describe their identities. “I probably would wear a pair of Crocs on pantsuits for an important meeting and all eyes would be on me and I don’t mind the attention”.

For Style Senami, a talented urban fashion curator who takes interest in thrifting and sustainable fashion, she says we would catch her wearing Crocs as she’s been into it for years. She attributes the new trend to the rise in demand for chunky rubber slides and sustainable fashion items, concluding that the Crocs comeback was a no brainer, considering this. While Senami thinks the trend will only last for the next year, Ochuwa, a budding fashion designer and stylist who also loves Crocs because of the comfort they provide her when she’s not fully dressed, wishes everyone would be like her and keep Crocs around for a long time. 

Let’s face it, if styled right, Crocs look good on anybody and whether you still need some more convincing or you already own one, these super comfy hideous shoes are here to stay!

Lammy Ademeso
Lammy Ademeso
part-time creative. social misfit.