The dramatic Crocs makeover—transitioning from an unpleasant gardening shoe, to becoming a cheeky high-trend favorite—began back again in 2016, when the brand marked its first manner collaboration with designer Christopher Kane, who embellished its classic Clog silhouette with chunky mineral stones. “I don’t forget inquiring Christopher, ‘Why do you want to partner with us?’” suggests Thornley. “And he reported, “I want to take some thing regular, and make it extraordinary.’” Because then, Crocs has continued to infiltrate the style area, collaborating with vogue houses like Balenciaga in 2017 and streetwear creatives like Salehe Bembury in 2021 (both of those partnerships are nevertheless likely). “We usually request companions who authentically join with our model,” says Thornley. “One thing that we’ve usually heard from associates is that we will not consider ourselves also seriously—we’re often up for doing some thing different.”
Though the Common Clog nevertheless remains its best-seller globally—with its Classic Sandal and Traditional Slide types accomplishing well for the manufacturer, too—the label’s foray into the luxury area has significantly to do with its partnership with Balenciaga, who has reinvented the Croc as platforms, rain boots, and even heels. “What I price so a great deal about [the Balenciaga] partnership is how real the group is,” claims Thornley. “They preferred to worth what we do inside the molded place, and they genuinely preferred to stand for color.” Their recurring Bembury collaboration on the Crocs Pollex, in the meantime, capabilities an eco-skeletal glimpse and carries on to offer out. Re-sale pairs at this time go for as substantially as $1,000, 10x the authentic rate. “This feeling of fandom that is happening for the model has been tremendous gratifying,” says Thornley.
Crocs have even begun to consider over the pink 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 platform Balenciaga Crocs this yr (Bieber at the Grammys, and Taylor the Billboard Awards). These have not been paid out placements. “That is a authentic and genuine connection to the model,” claims Thornley.
In addition to their buzzy times inside the style and celeb areas, even so, Thornley also desires to aim attention back again on the in-dwelling structure workforce this calendar year. Inside of the Crocs style studio, Thornley’s staff operates as any other layout residence would: They maintain inspiration conferences, focus on macro trends, and their suitable consumer. “We want a workfo
rce that feels like they can drive boundaries and help transfer the brand forward,” suggests Thornley.