Clogs? In France their big return is regularly announced. But with no viable alternative to Birkenstocks, the prediction is usually a flop. In hype areas of NYC or LA however you can hear their clip clop everywhere. They’re here, summer or winter, no-name or designer, in all the concept stores, lined up next to IT sneakers. Because today, the little sisters of Carrie Bradshaw all wear designer “status clogs”, often every bit as sophisticated as the stiletto heels of their elders. To be sure, recent versions, signed Dior or Balenciaga awakened their desire. But it was the “ugly shoes”, Uggs, Croc’s and the “glove shoe” that opened the way. And the craze has now gone beyond the phenomenon of fashion.
In a New Yorker article of January 2018, Lauren Mechler, a journalist, recounted how newly fired, she ran out to offer herself the pair of her dreams as a symbol of her entry into the world of freelance. A precarious and anguishing world, but one where she was no longer forced to dress “corporate”. Where instead, she could slip on a pair of friendly shoes, so easy on her feet, while she worked from her couch or the neighborhood library. Lauren Mechler also invented the word “clogerati” derived from the word “literati” (a young urbane cultivated person who frequents bookstores and art galleries). And voilà the clog we call intellectual.
Since, on #thecloglife and other dedicated hashtags, hundred of clog lovers have made their coming out. In newspapers, backed by experts, the trend is mingled with the prevailing neo-feminism. In general, men hate clogs. And deciding that you don’t give a damn is true liberation! Coming from the peasant world, clogs also reflect a nostalgia for the simpler life, closer to nature, bla bla bla…But this recent craze is much more likely linked to our growing interest in wellness and self-care. When it’s all about massages, meditation and yoga sessions, and spoiling oneself in many ways, why would you continue to massacre your toes? Tempting? To find out which clogs suit you best, take a look at our mini guide. Given the mounting number of co-working spaces and yoga studios that have sprung up in France, the trend should soon cross the Atlantic…
The Yuppie Clog
Often called the “status clog”. It’s usually a hybrid between a mule and the good old Swedish clog. It’s the one for the rich thirty something’s, who, tired of Manhattan roof-parties, put away their Manolos and now hang out in brownstones filled with green plants and ceramics in the most bourgeois areas of Brooklyn. They buy them at Rachel Comey , at Beklina, a popular California brand that offers them in quilted leather, or N°6, cult boutique in Little Italy which sells them in different materials, heels and styles, even as fur lined boots…the jewel of the collection: the “loafer clog” topped with a piece of fur!
The Intellectual Clog
Simple, flat, artisanal and hand made if possible, by the same store for generations, it’s the darling of the “clogerati” as well as the least expensive. It’s directly descendant from its baba-cool 1970’s ancestor. In winter it’s worn with heavy socks…or crocheted leg warmers found on Etsy or a “makers” market. The Swedish Hasbeens are on the upswing, just like Toernsrtrop or Sandgrens, not yet known in France. Or Sven, a Minnesota brand, famous for its incredible array and its “made in USA” label.
The Hipster Clog
Unisex, in patent leather and with an imitation wooden sole, the Dansko clog (made in Pennsylvania in spite of its Nordic name) has outfitted nurses, EMT’s and massage therapists since forever, the equivalent of Scholl! This vanguard of comfort then seduced neo-artisans of messy trades: ceramic artists, florists, plant sellers…This archetype of “ugly shoe” has now become the infatuation of the hipsters: graphic artists, art school students, art gallery employees, trend setters, vintage store salespeople or young girls adept of no-make up. Contrary to you and me, who just might be seduced by the black or the Bordeaux, their color of predilection is white. The most clown-like and maximalist. Indeed!