Crocs hit the scene in a big way 20 years ago. From 2002 to 2008, everyone had a pair of the brightly coloured clogs—a perversion of Holland’s signature shoe.
Made from a proprietary material called Crostile—a sort of rubber/foam hybrid that made them easy to wash and wear—Crocs were made for durability more than style. And mercifully they disappeared almost as quickly as they arrived.
Or so we thought…
Crocs' rightful place is on old ladies in the garden or babies on the beach but the display at Nordstrom replete with cutesy charms suggests that there are people out there who feel otherwise.
What’s worse is the Grammys saw not one but two pairs of Crocs on Sunday night. Justin Bieber sported chunky platform Crocs as part of his oversized Balenciaga look and Questlove, following up his gilded 2021 Oscars red carpet Crocs with textured a Salehe Bembury x Crocs collab.
Crocs' return to mainstream fashion is thanks to the brand's tenacious collaborations with both heritage and contemporary streetwear designers. Plus rappers like Post Malone, who help to cement the controversial footwear’s place in current pop culture.
But what does that mean for us here in Vancouver? Are Crocs a relevant fashion staple in this city?
According to local stylist Leila Bani the answer is...absolutely!
Not only do they have a place in fashion but they are definitely a thing in Vancouver. Crocs are the “peak of anti fashion fashion,” she says.
Anti-fashion is an umbrella term that was a big topic of conversation at the end of last year. It’s a style meant to contrast or undermine contemporary trends (for instance the romantic regency trend sparked by Bridgerton).
Anti-fashion is usually rooted in an indifference or practical goal that makes fashion a second priority. But it can also be a deliberate choice to go against the grain.
Either way, Crocs have a place in that. “They’re comfortable and great in the rain,” says Bani, making them the perfect match for Vancouver’s Arcteryx and Lulu-clad aesthetic.
And for those on the cutting edge of the anti-fashion fashion movement, there is always the $805 neon green Crocs with the stiletto heel.
Personally, I will reserve Crocs for the 10 feet from the front door to the recycling bin, or—you know—not at all.