The fashion set is obsessed today with a single pair of shoes that some are proclaiming among the most hideous ever made: a platform spawned by a high-low collaboration between Balenciaga and Crocs.
The freaky footwear debuted yesterday at Balenciaga’s Spring 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection in Paris, France, and onlookers gasped. Who could’ve predicted the arrival of a Croc on the high fashion runway?
There was nothing refined about them: a nearly four-inch wedge with an indelicately rounded toe and the top of which had been decorated with little brightly colored doodads — the Balenciaga logo, a small molded rose, a tiny face of a dog.
Suffice to say, whoever bought these couture clogs — they were shown in bright yellow, earthy green, and brilliant pink — likely wouldn’t be gardening in them.
Beautiful or ugly? You be the judge.
The house of Balenciaga deemed the monster clodhoppers “the ‘Foam’ shoes.” In a press release, Crocs Senior Vice President of Global Product and Marketing Michelle Poole disclosed the brand was “intrigued” when approached by Balenciaga: “Working with Balenciaga has been so much fun for our team, and once again demonstrates the relevance of our iconic clog in today’s fashion and design world, as well as allowing us to tap into the excitement and energy that comes from unexpected relationships.”
Sadly, the shoes won’t be available for purchase until spring of next year.
Online, the response to the Foam shoes was mixed. Some felt transported. Others felt trolled.
According to British Vogue, Balenciaga designer Demna Gvasalia was drawn to how Crocs are made. “It’s a very innovative shoe,” he explained. “It’s light, it’s a one-piece foam mould and to me these kind of techniques and working with these kind of materials is very Balenciaga.” One day, he predicted, “you will be able to 3D print them at home because they are all one piece.”
This wasn’t Crocs’ first high fashion collaboration. Christopher Kane did it first, and if you simply must have a pair of extremely pricey Crocs right now, you can orderKane’s slip-ons with mink fur trim for $545.
You probably won’t be gardening in these Balenciaga Crocs.
The Balenciaga Crocs weren’t out of place with the spring collection, which featured assemblages of camouflage tops, plaid pants, shirts patterned with newsprint, stocking boots printed with dollar bills, and giant fringed shoulder bags. The result was equal parts thrift shop fanatic and jet setting woman.
Fortune hopes the high profile debut will boost Crocs’ struggling stock.
As for how much you’ll pay for these Crocs, you can expect it’ll be more than $34.99. (I reached out to Balenciaga and Crocs to find out the retail price of Balenciaga’s Crocs. I’ll update this post if I find out.)
I’m embarrassed to admit that I find them charming. I don’t need the height. (I’m already six-one.) They’re ridiculous, and, well, happy. Sublime, somehow, and inarguably lofty.