The Clickbait of Fashion
When you think of Crocs, do you think of a ten year old running around a backyard, or do you think of a runway fashion show from an almost century-old brand? Either way, you are correct.
Many fashion brands are addicted now to the culture of clickbait fashion and feed into the social media success of ridiculousness. Many brands are using the method of creating memes of themselves to get free press and clout. Logically, this is smart. People share memes like a disease that can penetrate every social media platform. Gen Z has been referred to as wanting authenticity. Rather than holding out by creating an elitist website in 2017 (looks at Celine), why not give the people what they want and be as real as possible? Indulging in this type of humor creates a distinct tone for a brand and may even make the high price point just as approachable.
Bringing back the Crocs, not one but TWO luxury brands have released collaborations with Crocs. The Christopher Kane Crocs are adorned with crystal jibbitz and swirled in the most on trend shades. Who knows if people will wear these? Is that even the point of designing them? The four inch platforms of the Balenciaga collaboration are more recent and definitely fit in with the brand positioning Balenciaga has chosen lately.
Vetements also released a "hypebeast-esque" collaboration with DHL, as in DHL the shipping service. The relation of these two is unbeknownst but the shirts sold and at a whooping price too. A simple, yellow cotton shirt with a company’s logo that people never really use became high fashion. It was ridiculous and people ate it up.
Balenciaga is the most exaggerated version of this phenomenon. The announced their new logo by premiering it in Comic Sans. They had their knockoff IKEA bag (who knew it would work the other way around). Their shopper bags inspired by those bought at the dollar store sold for $2500. Their lace slippers reminiscent of house slippers were $1500. Their red leather mules have been compared to McDonald’s french fry cartons. They made fake campaign merch with the logo “Balenciaga 2017” emblazoned on what looks like a Gildan sweatshirt. Balenciaga is the ultimate fashion troll at the moment, and it is working. The brand topped Gucci in the third quarter on Lyst.
Maybe modern fashion consumers like a brand that they can laugh with, more than one they can laugh at. On a sadder note though, how would Cristóbal feel now seeing his brand go from particularly tailored evening gowns to fried memes with thousands of retweets?