Crocs: They'll make you forget you have feet

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When did Crocs become cool? News24's Bashiera Parker recently attended a new launch for the brand and spoke to General Manager Shaakira Isaacs to find out.

It was 26 May 2022 – the day my life would forever change.

No, I'm not talking about the day my husband and I said, 'I do'.

No, it's not the day my son was born either, though, two months before, that did have some impact on my decision.

I'd been warned on the Twitter streets: "Crocs will make you forget you have shoes."

On that fateful date in May 2022, I woke up, slipped my feet into my first pair of plastic clogs, and I swear, I forgot I had feet.

The rise of the plastic clog

My husband was always a huge Crocs fan, and I just never got the fascination. His black pair wasn't good-looking – and I couldn't imagine it was that comfortable.

"You're not an old lady gardening or a baby on the beach," I'd told him, quoting the movie Fired Up!

This, of course, was before I had a baby of my own and was forced to make my way to my nearest Crocs store.

'You mean it doesn't just come in black?'

'And what is this little pizza? Babe, here's a peach... like the emoji! Oh my god, an avo!'

We left with multiple pairs of Crocs that day – and Jibbitz.

'Come as you are' is the Crocs proclamation.

Don't mind if I do.

Heidi Klum and I are in our comfortable girl era.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 10: Heidi Klum is seen on
Heidi Klum is seen on 10 August 2021 in a pair of Crocs in Los Angeles, California.

But if Croctober – the massive Crocs sale in October of last year to mark the brand's 20th anniversary – proved anything, it's that it wasn't just me who had suddenly been taken by the Crocs phenomenon.

So in January, when I attended the launch of the Summer 2023 range, which saw Youngsta CPT trade in his Air Force 1s for a white pair of the mega crush clog, I caught up with Crocs South Africa General Manager Shaakira Isaacs to pick her brain about the rise of the plastic clog.

"Honestly, I think it's just, with Covid, and this comfort movement, and people realising more about life and what they want to do and not want to do – I think comfort has definitely climbed up higher on the priority list for them."

"A great thing I've heard in Covid is: 'There's no more time for tying laces'."

Come As You Are

Particularly excited about what's to come in the kids' range, having seen the cutest gumboots on display, Isaacs revealed: "We're actually launching Cocomelon this summer."

My jaw dropped.

"I know, I know, it's like the Beyoncé for kids."

"With the kids, it's easy on, easy off, easy to clean. Mom doesn't need to worry about dirty shoes in the evening. "But what's been amazing with the kids is really the sense of independence.

"They choose their own Jibbitz; they design their own shoes.

"What we call our clog is essentially like a canvas for self-expression. With the holes, you're then able to take the Jibbitz and design whatever it is you want, from day to day, from one event to the next, whatever it might be. It's really the opportunity for you to purchase and do and change your look entirely. You buy one pair of shoes, but you can have so many different looks, and we just love seeing people play around with Jibbitz. If you put adults in front of, as you can see," she says, referring to the Jibbitz on display at the launch, "it brings out the kid in all of us; all of us get excited."

Selling out is their clog with added height – and mostly in men's sizing.

"We actually launched it this past summer, and as I think everybody would assume, it was more targeted towards females even though it came in unisex sizing globally.

"We brought it in, and we wanted to check it out, and the men are buying it. And they're not buying the black or the white; they're buying the purple, the green, the orange – statement pieces – and they want them fully Jibbit-tized.

"I personally never liked, you know, this thing that pink is for girls and blue is for boys. And I love that those lines are blurring now. And when it comes to Crocs, you have every colour under the sun, and you just make it your own."

"It really comes back to that, 'Come as you are,'" I say, "Express yourself."

"Exactly. And why not with shoes?"

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