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Revival Along with Y2K: Crocs' New Look Sparked by Collaboration with Balenciaga

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Crocs, a shoe you might say almost every household has a pair of. For neighborhood outings, work, and outdoor activities... thanks to their ease of wear, Crocs have become an essential part of our daily lives.
It's been 19 years since Crocs first came to Japan. They boomed around 2006, and at one time were quite popular as everyday shoes, but as awareness grew, they became less visible on the streets. Nevertheless, did you know that the familiar Crocs are now back in the spotlight?
This time, we delve into the latest trends of Crocs, which are also gaining attention for their Jibbitz Charms decorations.

Revival with Y2K! The Latest on Crocs

In Hawaii, Crocs are worn as city shoes, but what kind of image do they have in Japan?
During the boom of the 2000s, they were often seen as "trend shoes," but now they might be more strongly perceived as "casual shoes."
In recent years, rather than wearing them as fashionable shoes, people have gravitated toward their convenience and affordable price. In other words, Crocs have integrated into our lives and become a familiar presence.
Today, Crocs are recognized not just among the younger generation but also among seniors as "easy-to-wear shoes." Though it's been nearly 20 years since Crocs came to Japan, it's impressive how widely recognized they have become across the country.
These Crocs, well-known for being comfortable, are regaining popularity as stylish everyday shoes.
Author's belongings
Author's belongings
The initial trigger was Balenciaga. As a high brand also popular in street fashion, Balenciaga's collaboration with Crocs in 2018 caught public attention.
Because it was a collaboration with a high brand, the price was over 90,000 yen at launch – more than 10 times the usual price for Crocs. This created a buzz upon announcement.
The "Y2K" boom arrived at the same time, introducing the platform "Mega Crush Clog." While not everyone could afford high-brand Crocs, Crocs were once again recognized by the youth as "cool shoes."

New Decoration Items: Crocs for Adults 

Made from rubber, Crocs are known for their comfortable feel when worn barefoot, ease of care, and assortment of colorful designs, making their Japan debut in 2005. Their unique design and affordability made Crocs a hot item regardless of age.
Jibbitz Charms (Author's belongings)
Jibbitz Charms (Author's belongings)
The decoration accessory for Crocs is Jibbitz Charms.
Beloved for many years, Jibbitz Charms are accessories that fit into the holes of Crocs and decorate the surface. It's noteworthy that Jibbitz Charms, which hadn't garnered much attention from adults, have started becoming popular from the Reiwa era.
Initially, Jibbitz Charms had a colorful, kid-oriented impression, but recently, decorative and luxurious charms that adults can enjoy have been released.
On the official Crocs website, items featuring gemstones, chains, pearls, and ribbons have been added, which is refreshing.
Additionally, LED Jibbitz Charms add novelty, and classic character charms are still popular. Everyone enjoys Jibbitz Charms as they like.
From Reiwa, with the rise of various decorative cultures such as trading cards, decoration trends have also extended to Crocs.
Rather than just decorating Crocs colorfully, many people are now obsessed with luxuriously embellishing them.
Author's belongings
Author's belongings

Unstoppable! Crocs as Streetwear Items

This unique and unparalleled existence of Crocs is seen by some as comfortable and colorful shoes and by others as not fitting into fashion, often sparking debate.
However, despite differing opinions on their fashion status, the collaboration with Balenciaga and the Y2K boom unquestionably spurred them back into popularity.
This year again, with new creative endeavors from Beams and Marc Jacobs, Crocs have brilliantly evolved.
Simone Rocha also announced a collaboration last September for the 2024 Spring/Summer collection with "the most beautiful Crocs in the world." They were released on April 12 this year, creating a buzz.
From being unique shoes since the Heisei era, Crocs have captured our attention. From Reiwa, it seems we can also enjoy them as new street fashion items.

Header Caption: Left: Stomp Clog / Right: Mega Crush Sandal (Author's belongings)


Writer & Collector
Since 2018, primarily introducing 90s-00s Heisei girls' culture, mainly on social media. Subsequently, involved in interviews, writing, and contributions related to Heisei culture for publications such as "オリコンニュース," "現代ビジネス," "WWD.JAPAN," "ビジネスジャーナル," "クイック・ジャパン," "アーバンライフメトロ," and "東洋経済オンライン." Owns an extensive collection of Heisei girls' culture items, mainly from old magazines.
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