strategist investigates

Why Is Every Stylish Woman on Instagram Suddenly Wearing Strawberry Crocs?

Laurel Pantin, Clare Vivier, and Katie Sturino in strawberry Crocs. Photo-Illustration: Courtesy of the subjects

In early March, fashion editor Laurel Pantin found herself sheltering in place in her hometown of Austin with only a weekend’s worth of clothes. (She was only supposed to be away for a few days … and then, well.) As soon as temperatures in the South hit 90 degrees, she realized the only pair of shoes she traveled with weren’t suited for Texas weather. And that’s how she ended up with a pair of strawberry Crocs.

She got Crocs because they’re relatively cheap, “baby-barf-proof,” and practical: “We don’t wear shoes inside so I needed something I could get on and off while holding a baby and ten thousand of my son’s trucks,” she says. She texted her 13-year-old niece, a Crocs fan, “to get her input on which to buy” and settled on the berry print. “This was three weeks after having a baby, so I really didn’t have anything cheerful,” she explains.

Pantin posted a photo on Instagram — of her kid, mostly, but also of the shoes — to her nearly 40,000 followers. Instantly, she found herself inundated with comments and direct messages from people inquiring about her strawberry Crocs. “It’s super-weird. Of all the things I’ve ever bought, these have had the most fans,” she says. “I truly can’t tell you how many people have DM’d me saying they bought them after seeing them on my feed.” (Is it a coincidence that Crocs was the only footwear company to report growth in March? Who can say!)

Textile designer Heather Taylor was one of those people. “Right after the coronavirus began, [Pantin] posted the Crocs. I wrote to her and said ‘OMG buying immediately.’ And I bought them — immediately.” Taylor promptly posted hers on Instagram, “and my DMs blew up,” she says. Lots of her friends now have them, including jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth and handbag designer Clare Vivier. Vivier, who often shares her colorful quarantine outfits with her 148,000 Instagram followers, explains the shoe’s appeal: “My whole thing is that I love things that are so bad they’re good. These are a perfect example.” Vivier says she’s received many DMs inquiring who “makes” her shoes, and her followers are always shocked to learn they’re just Crocs.

Publicist Madeleine Fawcett also purchased a pair after seeing them on Pantin’s feed. “Laurel deserves a commission on the strawbery Crocs movement,” she says. She likes that they’re playful and functional, and they bring some much-needed levity to things. When she posted about her pair on Instagram, she says at least 30 people messaged her to say they, too, planned on buying them. Among them was her friend, the Megababe founder Katie Sturino. “I had a very visceral reaction to the shoes,” Sturino told me. “They’re fun and kooky. I’ve never owned Crocs. I’ve owned Birkenstocks and Tevas, but Crocs felt like a line too far. I was wrong — maybe they’re the shoe we all need to get through this summer.”

A few more Crocs in fun prints (that are still in stock in most sizes)

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Every Stylish Woman on Instagram Wearing Strawberry Crocs