There are certain products on this earth that cannot be so straightforwardly appraised. The type of creations whose being transcend the very binaries of good and bad taste and must be held to account by different standards entirely. That certainly applies to Diplo's new collaboration with Crocs, which has us pondering not their aesthetic merits, but questions such as, "How did we get here?" and "What does this mean?"
The titanic coming-together arrives shortly after Crocs posted an insane increase in sales by 64 percent — that's around $460 million — year on year (this comes as no real surprise, given, like, one in three people seemingly purchased a pair during lockdown). After tie-ups with a slew of high-profile musicians over the past 24 months, the EDM Jesus himself is next in line for the treatment. It's funny, because the sheer volume of nonsensical collaborations these days can send even the most on-point bullshit detector out of whack. It's like there's a tension between accepting these kinds of things as a byproduct of the times and wanting to scream into the abyss. I mean, Crocs designed by Diplo are in demand! "Is that really any more shocking than someone like Post Malone?" you may ask. As someone who was first stood watching the big man at a terrible Major Lazer afterparty full of people on Mkat about 10 years ago, the answer is a resounding yes.
As for what to make of the footwear itself? Well, what do you expect? To me, they have this weird whiff of ersatz, PG-rated psychedelia about them — a bit like Toys”R”Us meets the Grateful Dead. Perhaps that's down to the "Jibbitz," which manifest as multiple cartoonish, glow-in-the-dark mushrooms and Diplo's Brontosaurus logo. Cool!
“I wear my Crocs literally everywhere so I’m stoked to have some with my name on them and that others can get them too,” remarked a thrilled Diplo. “Crocs helped me bring my adventures to life with these designs and the 3-D, light up, and glow-in-the-dark mushroom Jibbitz charms are cooler than I could’ve imagined. Now fans can take a walk with me in either the Classic Clog or Classic Sandal.”
What I or anyone else thinks about these bad boys is redundant, because they'll no doubt sell out like most things Crocs-related these days. Just as the Justin Bieber ones did, and just as the Posty (!) ones did. As the Principal Skinner meme goes, "Am I out of touch? No, it's the children who are wrong!" Or are they, really? Thanks to Diplo and Crocs, I no longer understand even myself.
The Diplo x Crocs collaboration releases June 8 on Crocs' website.