Shia LaBeouf — actor, director, unexpected menswear style icon — is trying his hand (or feet, rather) at making Crocs, arguably one of the most polarizing items in fashion, happen in 2018.
But first, let’s talk about LaBeouf’s somewhat newfound pseudo-influencer status. It didn’t happen overnight, nor has it officially entered mainstream consciousness, but an undeniable flip was made sometime in the last several years, where his deliberate homeless-slash-just-rolled-out-of-bed aesthetic went from the subject of mockery to sudden fascination.
There are a few reasons for this, like the industry’s recent affinity for ugly fashion, compounded by the normcore movement, along with Balenciaga and Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia’s immense influence on the streetwear scene (more on this later).
And while it appears as though LaBeouf gets dressed in the dark, with pieces haphazardly thrown together, courtesy of his stable of lived-in sweats, vintage tees and assorted baseball caps (one of which was worn by Kanye West), his approach to his hodgepodge of off-duty looks is, surprisingly, calculated.
“People look at me and they go, ‘He looks homeless. He doesn’t care.’ [But] this [outfit] took a lot of time. For real,” LaBeouf said during a B96 Radio interview. “Everyone’s got a uniform, you know what I mean? Even though it looks haphazard, it’s actually very thought-through.”
That’s why, when LaBeouf kicked off the year in one of his preferred shoes of choice — a pair of blue Crocs — on a grocery run with girlfriend Mia Goth, it sent a message that, for the first time, there’s a very real possibility that Crocs might actually be embraced this year, especially now that more than one designer has endorsed the controversial clog.
Christopher Kane debuted stone-embellished marbled Crocs on the spring ’17 runway in September 2016, launched fur-lined ones for fall ’17 and released tiger-striped, metallic flower-adorned versions the same year. And most recently, to the amusement of everyone everywhere, Gvasalia, who favors outsized normcore-esque silhouettes (which is right in line with LaBeouf’s M.O.), sent out Crocs on the Balenciaga spring ’18 runway rendered in rainbow-bright sky-high platforms and bedecked in kitschy pins.
So to answer the broader question here: Will Crocs happen in 2018? Perhaps. But if LaBeouf and his derelict looks find themselves in the center of the spotlight in 2018, then that’s a definitive yes.