Like Doc Martens, ripped jeans and blue-collar work gear, Crocs managed to find its way onto the fashion scene despite it’s seemingly unlikely ability to. Thanks to youth subcultures who distinguish themselves from mainstream culture by piecing together various pieces of clothing that in turn cause its original meaning to be altered, Crocs managed to take off. Crocs were originally created for boating and fishing, but became immensely popular with the “funky, laid-back, I-care-more-about-comfort-than-looks,” subculture. “Many young people assert their defiance of mainstream culture specifically by developing styles that do not conform to the ‘good taste’ of mainstream culture” (Practices of Looking, 79), and Crocs is definitely an example of this. These shoes definitely defy society’s standards of high fashion, as socially acceptable shoes are often beautiful, high heeled, narrow but highly uncomfortable giving your feet, ankles and back intense pain. Crocs, on the other hand, offer comfort but are bulky, wide, huge, flat.
Distinctions between subculture fashion and mainstream fashion are definitely becoming increasingly blurred; Crocs, which once started out as a niche market has now been appropriated by mainstream fashion. They have come up with various styles, including flats and heels and have even made shoe accessories, known as ibbitz, which are personalized pins that are meant to be stuck in the holes in the front of the shoes.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are examples of people who definitely have their own subculture. Even though Mary-Kate and Ashley are filthy rich celebrities perfectly capable of affording beautiful clothes, they defy society’s expectations and piece together grungy clothes in a way that actually makes them look almost homeless. “For participants in fashion subcultures, the remaking of style through appropriation of historical objects and images can be a political statement about class, ethnic, and cultural identity” (pg. 79). By creating this certain sense of style, Mary Kate and Ashley are not conforming to the “good taste” of mainstream culture even though they are perfectly able to, proving that celebrities do not have to always look a certain way and splurge on designer pieces. However, their style has attracted an exuberant amount of attention and they now actually have their own clothing line, again showing that subculture fashion is hard to distinguish from mainstream fashion.