This Crocs Designer Is Banking on a High-Fashion Future for the Label

ByMelissa J. Akers

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The spectacular Crocs makeover—transitioning from an hideous gardening shoe, to being a cheeky high-manner favorite—began again in 2016, when the brand name marked its first vogue collaboration with designer Christopher Kane, who embellished its traditional Clog silhouette with chunky mineral stones. “I recall asking Christopher, ‘Why do you want to spouse with us?’” says Thornley. “And he explained, “I want to take anything regular, and make it remarkable.’” Because then, Crocs has continued to infiltrate the fashion space, collaborating with style residences like Balenciaga in 2017 and streetwear creatives like Salehe Bembury in 2021 (both of those partnerships are continue to going). “We usually search for associates who authentically link with our manufacturer,” states Thornley. “One matter that we have generally heard from partners is that we will not just take ourselves as well seriously—we’re normally up for accomplishing a little something various.”

Balenciaga spring 2018

Picture: Marcus Tondo / Indigital.television set

Even though the Traditional Clog still stays its best-seller globally—with its Traditional Sandal and Common Slide designs undertaking effectively for the model, too—the label’s foray into the luxury house has a great deal to do with its partnership with Balenciaga, who has reinvented the Croc as platforms, rain boots, and even heels. “What I benefit so considerably about [the Balenciaga] partnership is how actual the workforce is,” says Thornley. “They wanted to value what we do in the molded space, and they genuinely required to stand for coloration.” Their recurring Bembury collaboration on the Crocs Pollex, in the meantime, options an eco-skeletal search and continues to market out. Re-sale pairs now go for as considerably as $1,000, 10x the authentic selling price. “This feeling of fandom that’s going on for the brand name has been tremendous gratifying,” suggests Thornley.

Crocs have even begun to take around the red carpet, way too. At the 2021 Oscars, DJ Questlove wore a pair of golden Crocs. Justin Bieber and Teyana Taylor have also equally worn the system Balenciaga Crocs this 12 months (Bieber at the Grammys, and Taylor the Billboard Awards). These have not been compensated placements. “That is a real and genuine connection to the brand name,” states Thornley. 

Teyana Taylor at the 2022 Billboard Awards in the Balenciaga CrocsPhoto: Getty Pictures

Justin Bieber at the 2022 Grammys in the Balenciaga CrocsPhoto: Getty Photos

In addition to their buzzy moments inside of the trend and celeb areas, however, Thornley also wishes to aim awareness back again on the in-residence layout staff this calendar year. Inside the Crocs design and style studio, Thornley’s workforce operates as any other style property would: They keep inspiration meetings, examine macro tendencies, and their suitable buyer. “We want a group that feels like they can drive boundaries and help move the brand name forward,” states Thornley. 


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