Fashion is a creative space where the designer’s mind is given free reign to conjure fanciful ideas that would otherwise be considered verboten by societal standards. It has made concepts like attaching a full-skirted train to cigarette pants a viable eveningwear option (see Meryl Streep in Elie Saab at the Oscars) and took denim from the railroad to the boardroom.
Javier Bardem and Meryl Streep present at the Oscars on Feb. 26, 2017.
This summer, Christopher Kane is arguably pulling his most fanciful move yet by thrusting Crocs into haute territory with a price tag to match – $560, to be precise.
The fashion mash-up is an honest-to-goodness collaboration between the comfort-shoe brand and the Scottish designer, and they first confounded (and scared) stylesetters in September when they appeared in Kane’s spring 2017 London runway show. They appeared again, complete with fur lining, in his fall 2017 collection.
In case you’re wondering why the price is so high, the perforated polyethylene clogs are re-imagined in a marble-effect material for spring and festooned with large, sparkly stones that resemble a high-end version of Jibbitz.
Reaction to this collaboration has been mixed.
Fashion PSA: Christopher Kane's Crocs are still Crocs and Belt Bags are still Fanny Packs. Carry on.
— Lux LaCroix (@fierceandfabu) March 5, 2017
Christopher Kane is trying to bring back crocs but with FUR! Brb going kill myself
— A (@_becky__h) February 21, 2017
I think Christopher Kane is having a midlife crisis, first crocs and now he's sending things into space and dropping them ???? pic.twitter.com/VMTY0L1pm0
— nell (@nell_is_green) February 22, 2017
Christopher Kane brought crocs with fur to the runway at London fashion week. I never wanted crocs so bad in my life
— MICHELLE (@mxzchelle) February 21, 2017
Christopher Kane bringing back crocs is the best thing i've seen happen in 2017 thus far.
— mac (@macbenson_) February 21, 2017
Kane’s collaboration with the equally celebrated and reviled footwear brand is just one in a series of comfort-shoe updates that have proliferated on the fashion catwalks in recent seasons. Designer houses like Céline and Prada have resurrected Birkenstocks and Tevas, and priced them to compete with their more fashion-oriented offerings.
For his part, Kane defended his collaboration with Crocs in an interview with WWD, declaring his love for the brand: “Crocs are great – I love them.”
“I knew people were going to react in that way, but it wasn’t about being controversial,” he said. “The fact is Crocs is a huge successful business on its own, they don’t need me to make them even more successful. Obviously people do like them, and that’s a different customer that I want to grab. I want to include everyone and not be a snob.”
Interestingly, the high-end version of Crocs (which typically cost $45) went on sale one day after the brand announced it would be closing 158 stores due to poor performance.