Ugly Fashion Is Big Business


LONDON, United Kingdom – Ugly fashion is nothing new. From the signature of Prada, jolie laide, to the riff of Céline in the Birkenstock sandal, fashion has always had something to transform the unsophisticated into the covetable. However, with the Crocs couture collaborations and the luxury bumbags that reach the shelves, this season it seems that the trend has reached its apotheosis: the uglier the element, the higher the state of social media .

Gucci’s luxury reinterpretation of the hustle and bustle – the old-fashioned, very old-fashioned utility pouch, usually associated with Western tourists as a way to keep valuables safe – currently accounts for nearly a quarter of all net-strip sales. -a-Porter, while Balenciaga The three-soled shoes sold out completely in a matter of hours. Why? These items not only provide peculiarity, but are also practical, functional and, most of all, comfortable.

And comfort sells. Some brands, such as Ugg, Birkenstocks and Crocs, have built entire companies based on unpleasant products driven by convenience. Revenues in Ugg surpassed $ 400 million in the second quarter of 2017. Businesses in Crocs, based in Colorado, have been fairly constant for years, hovering around the annual mark of $ 1 trillion to $ 1,200 million. Fashion trends are cyclical, so fashion will not always come back, but they are much more likely to have longevity if they are easy to use.

The appeal to the consumer is understandable: it is not necessary to carry a belt bag, the shoes are easier to wear than the heels and the high-rise jeans do not slip like the low-rise ones, so the underwear never You run the risk of being in the show.

Designers benefit from selling their own deluxe versions of these ironically cool items, not only to satisfy the demand of Instagram consumers, but because the styles of drag make commercial sense. They are often cheaper than the typical pair of luxury shoes: Crocs by Christopher Kane retail for £ 475 ($ 623 in current currency exchange) where your other footwear costs more than £ 600 ($ 791), serving as a New type of entry point in a high end tag that deviates from the typical fragrances or keychain.

“There is a hint of practicality in all this: it’s almost a badge of honor, to take something from the margins of fashion and elevate it to the height of style,” says Coco Chan, director of women’s clothing at Stylebop. “It’s the essence of the great and in the age of social networks it’s very powerful.”

Footwear is often the entry-level drug for ugly fashion.