June 10, 2021– What do you get when you cross a stiletto with a plastic, orthopaedic comfort shoe? Balenciaga x Crocs of course! The latest fashion crossbreed of brands, once polar opposites on the style scale, have amalgamated into one of the summer’s most talked-about, if contrived, shoe hybrids. And it is not even available yet.
Launching for Spring 2022, the shoe itself is fun but also quintessentially ugly. A follow up to Balenciaga’s 2017 colourful platform iteration, the stiletto version is likely to come with a hefty retail price of around 850 dollars, compared to ‘regular’ Crocs costing 40 dollars. That’s a lot of dosh for a bit of foam plastic. In an interview with Vogue, Balenciaga artistic director Demna Gvasalia said it was a very innovative shoe: “It’s light, it’s a one-piece foam mold and to me, these kinds of techniques and working with these kinds of materials is very Balenciaga.”
Balenciaga Crocs 2.0
The high-heeled Crocs design is not the only mashup between the French luxury maison and comfy shoe producer. The SS22 show also featured knee-high Crocs rain boots. Despite the high margin that Balenciaga will charge, the return that Crocs will earn Balenciaga will not come from sales. Only a small amount of such items are ever manufactured, meaning they will not be available in high street quantities. Rather it is the media value the brand will earn with the hybrid shoe seeing ample coverage in magazines, blogs, social media and anyone with an opinion. Even CNN waded in on the controversy. The respected news network, somewhere between Tweets concerning wealthy Americans not paying income tax and folks testing positive for Covid on a cruise ship, found the time to wade in on the shoe that has divided sensibilities and tastes across the fashion spectrum.
Balenciaga hacked Gucci
Balenciaga has been known to hack the most mundane of uniforms, from DHL to Dad sneakers to Ikea shoppers. This season it launched a collaboration with Gucci, swapping its “G” logos for a “B” on handbags, blazers and a whole lot of merch. The project is meant to “explore and question the ideas of authenticity, counterfeiting and appropriation within the fashion industry,” said Balenciaga’s show notes.
Last month Victoria Beckham said in an Instagram post she would “rather die” than wear Justin Bieber Crocs, a collaboration with his Drew House label. He sent a pair as an unsolicited gift to the designer in April. Many may share her sentiment when it comes to Balenciaga Crocs 2.0.
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