Crocs' hyped celebrity collabs are paying off, pandemic be damned

The company's business is booming, thanks to the buzz its limited-edition clogs have created.

Crocs has been a consistent conversation in fashion this year thanks to enticing collaborations that have included pop superstars, cult streetwear brands, and our favorite upcycling designer. Limited releases such as these are only a drop in the hat for a company's overall sales, but they can help draw new customers to its inline offerings. And that seems to be the case for Crocs, which has reported a sales increase of 15.7 percent for a third-quarter record of $361.7 million.

The record-setting figures show that the Crocs trend is legit and not simply limited to the brand's more hyped releases. It sold 16.9 million shoes in the last quarter as part of a huge bounce back from the financial hit of COVID-19. During a conference call announcing the results, CEO Andrew Rees noted that LeBron James was spotted wearing the Grateful Dead x Chinatown Market Crocs inside the NBA's bubble, while the Justin Bieber collab promptly sold out worldwide.

The perfect shoes for the moment — Crocs has stringed together collaborative hits during a time when its casual slip-on shoes are more useful than ever. As the pandemic has forced us to spend more time at home, shoes that can be worn comfortably indoors or for a quick jaunt to the store are tremendously useful. With few places to go, footwear, like the rest of our attire, has become more casual. And it doesn't hurt that Crocs remain affordable, at just $40 to $50 for the typical pair.

Rees went further into how the collaborations have helped the company well beyond the direct revenue. "They drive consumer engagement," he said, according to Quartz. "They drive social and digital impressions on a global basis and on an enormous scale. In addition, the dynamics of the consumer shopping on our website allows us typically to collect their email addresses and create a relationship with those consumers, which obviously has value beyond the sale of that collaboration… Given the portfolio of collaborations, and the different types of consumers that we’re bringing to the site, that obviously broadens our reach as a brand."

Just how long this moment can continue remains to be seen, as trends are just that. But Rees did indicate in the call that he doesn't see the current has streak as an anomaly.