No, you didn’t imagine it. The Academy Awards’ musical director Questlove really did wear a pair of crocs on the Oscars red carpet this year. But they were spray-painted gold for the special occasion.
Whether you love them or loathe them, crocs are making a comeback.
On Tuesday, the shoe-maker reported record sales in the first three months of the year and raised its revenue outlook for 2021.
Sales rose 64% to $460m (£331m) in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. Pre-tax profit grew to $122.5m between January and March from a previous $18.7m.
Crocs’ chief executive, Andrew Rees, now expects sales for the full year to rise by as much as 50%, compared to an increase of up to 25% the company predicted in February.
Demand for Crocs is “stronger than ever” across the world, said Mr Rees.
Branded by some as the “it-shoe” of the pandemic, people have turned to the divisive footwear company for comfy clogs to pair with leggings and hoodies during lockdown.
But the US brand had already started working with celebrities and pop-stars to boost its popularity again.
In 2018, it partnered with rapper Post Malone who designed his own shoe – which still slightly resembled Swiss cheese.
Collaborations with Latin pop-star Bad Bunny and singer Justin Bieber followed, both of which sold out in minutes.
Crocs has focused on growing digital sales, which rose by 75.3% in the first quarter and made of a third of total sales for the period.
The company’s strategy includes social media promotion, with #crocs having gained 1.6 billion views on TikTok, where so-called influencers post videos dancing around in the shoes or show how they style their footwear.
Looking ahead, it said it was counting on new products for future growth such as sandals, or their “Jibbitz” shoe charms which loyal fans can use to customise their shoes.
It is also set to focus on celebrity and social campaigns in Asia, where it sees the “largest long-term growth opportunity”.