Crocs are one of the most divisive shoes in the fashion industry, yet their “Croc Nation” fan base is bigger and stronger than ever. Year after year, Croc shoes continue to be worn by men and women of all ages. We’ve seen high-fashion collaborations between Crocs and Balenciaga as well as with Christopher Kane — both of which have proven to be highly successful. The pre-sale for the Balenciaga x Crocs alone sold out in one day. Keep in mind, these luxury Crocs retailed for $450 on up. More recently, the collaborative shoes with Post Malone sold out within minutes. However, Crocs’ classic clogs have always been the brand’s bread and butter, even though they’ve expanded to other categories like flats and sandals.
What is it about Crocs that keep customers coming back for more? Yahoo Lifestyle interviewed Michelle Poole, senior vice president, chief product and merchandising officer at Crocs, to learn more about the sensational popularity behind Crocs.
Yahoo Lifestyle: First, why do you think Crocs are so divisive among people?
Michelle Poole: We encourage our passionate fans, a group that call themselves Croc Nation, to be fearlessly unique in expressing themselves and we want people to understand that being comfortable and being stylish are not mutually exclusive. We know that not everyone subscribes to that philosophy, and that’s ok, but we have never wavered from our identity and we are not afraid to poke holes in convention. Simply put, we want everyone to be comfortable in their own shoes. That is what our Come As You Are” Campaign is all about.
What do you think it is about Crocs that has attracted so many loyalists over the years?
Our product is universal, or as we like to say, delightfully democratic. We sell to all genders and generations. We have styles for all tastes. And importantly, no one outgrows the need for comfort, so we are able to serve consumers wearing their very first shoe, as well as into their childhood, adulthood and later years. What’s more, people like shopping with brands whose values align with their own. Here at Crocs we encourage people to “come as you are” and believe that comfort, style and self-expression belong together. That’s something our fans really get behind.
We’ve seen a lot of high-fashion collaborations with Crocs, such as those with Christopher Kane and Balenciaga. Have these fashion collaborations been successful? What was the intent behind these collaborations?
Our high-fashion collaborations have been a big hit. In fact, Balenciaga sold out on day one of the pre-sale. When developing partnerships, we make sure the connection is meaningful, and the pairing of the two brands can create something exciting for the consumer. With Christopher Kane and Balenciaga, we were able to bring something really unexpected to the runway, showing our classic iconic clog in a whole new light.
Crocs' recent collab with Post Malone was extremely successful. Why do you think that was? Do you think the perception of Crocs is changing?
In addition to our high-fashion collaborations, our broader portfolio of collaborations including our recent one with Post Malone have been really successful. Our Post Malone partnership was authentic, fun and pretty unexpected! Post is a long time Crocs fan and is known for being unapologetically himself and comfortable in his own shoes — a perfect fit with Crocs. Our customers really responded enthusiastically to the product: The collection sold out in minutes and Highsnobiety named it one of the most valuable sneakers in Q4 2018.
We are definitely seeing the perception of our brand change as a wide range of consumers re-discover our classic clog. Because the clog is such a recognizable silhouette, it has the power to attract a lot of attention, and as we’ve seen with many of our recent collaborations, it’s a blank canvas that can be styled in so many fresh ways, fuel the latest conversations and inspire next-level innovations.
Who would you say is your biggest consumer group? Is it style-conscious shoppers, workers who are on their feet all day, or a different type of consumer group?
Crocs are for anyone and everyone who appreciates the combination of style and comfort. That said, women, especially moms, are our largest consumer group: They have a great deal of purchasing power and are often shopping for themselves, their kids and their partners. Once they discover how comfortable we are, they become our biggest fans, and tell everyone they know!
Love Crocs or just curious to finally see what the fuss is about? Shop 12 versions for the whole family below.
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