Manolo says, the Manolo he has been quoted in the Colorado Springs Independent regarding the hideousness that is the Crocs, and this on the eve of the company’s offering the public the stock.
The shoe may have its B list of celebrity devotees — Graham Nash, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Garner and her main squeeze, Ben “Kiss of Death” Affleck — but there also are plenty of fashionistas decrying the whole plastic-shoe fad and hoping it will go away soon.
Crocs are the latest atrocity to be added to Manolo the Shoe Blogger’s “Gallery of the Horrors,” a collection of some of the ugliest shoes of all time (shoeblogs.com/horrors.html). They’re right up there with Uggs (“the only peoples who should be wearing this boot are the preteen girls who love the Hello Kitty”), the Birkenstock Boston (“looks like it was put together by the blind medieval monks, for wear by the peasants of the mud”) and the Dansko Teton (“glorified, heavy-duty house slippers”). But Manolo seems particularly offended by the popular rationale for Crocs, since it implies that style and comfort are incompatible: “Why must the ‘comfort’ always be the war cry of those who would lead us into the bad shoes?”
The fashion mavens’ aversion to Crocs isn’t merely an aesthetic problem for the company. If, as Manolo suggests, Crocs are a bad idea that should be discarded on the ash heap of shoe history, if they are the next Uggs, then that makes the effort to take the company public a bit gamier than the usual IPO. Among the “risk factors” Crocs notes in its SEC filings are the company’s relatively short history, its reliance on a small product line and the fickleness of the shoe-buying public.
Fickleness of the public, indeed! If it had been left up to the Manolo, the baby Crocs they would have been strangled in their cradle.