How flip-flops went from the comfort of home to a status symbol | Fashion

TThe school run has been a pragmatic catwalk; a fashion collection inspired by lateness and tiredness, but still an interesting barometer of what looks acceptable under the critical eye of a front row of parents.

Akshata Murty, wife of Rishi Sunak, made the documents to wear slippers to take her daughters to school. This was no absent-minded mistake walking out the door: Murty’s slippers came with chain detailing, shearing and a £570 price tag from JW Anderson, the designer who recently dressed Rihanna for her Super Bowl performance.

Not every school outfit can compete with that. But slippers used as shoes are more and more popular. Like sneakers, leggings and pajamas before them, slippers are no longer just household clothes, but now play a new role in the modern wardrobe. “The rise of casual footwear goes back 15 years to the formidable Ugg,” says Alice Enders, director of research at media insights firm Enders Analysis. “And then the pandemic lockdowns reinforced the casual wear trend.”

Slippers as indoor shoes have historically been a symbol of sophistication and class. Prince Albert popularized the pump style slipper for men as evening wear and the influence of continental society was present in Turkish slippers and French feathered boudoir mules. Whereas the rug slipper will forever be associated with people like Coronation StreetEna Sharples from Ena and comic book favorite Andy Capp. The new styles overthrow the traditional idea of ​​the slipper.

Jennifer Lopez rocking the outdoor flip-flop look. Photography: Jose Perez/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

The mule was the first slipper to be taken to the catwalk. The Gucci Princetown Mule – a fur-filled backless leather sole shoe first appeared in the Spring/Summer 2016 collection, but has been a style mainstay ever since.

Lucy Maguire, senior trends editor at fashion industry website Vogue Business, also cites singer Justin Bieber and his Drew House clothing line as another major influence.

“Bieber wore these Drew House ‘Smiley Face’ Hotel Slippers from $5 Dec 2018 onwards. That was the first time I saw slippers worn outside as a fashion statement, but it certainly wasn’t the last. Also around the same time, with the emergence of TikTok, young people were exposed to more everyday content than ever before. It shows celebrities in sweats and flip flops in their homes.” Seeing people in flip-flops in their homes became a daily experience for everyone during 2020, even if it was at a Zoom update job rather than an influencer on TikTok. Sales skyrocketed in 2020 and the trend of flip-flops that doubled as shoes and shoes that looked like flip-flops became popular.

“During the pandemic, not only were flip-flops in, but so were “slipper-style” shoes like Crocs, Birkenstocks, and Uggs, as people sought comfort and style for their daily walks around the neighborhood,” says Maguire. “These shoe brands were smart, many collaborating with celebrities or luxury brands, to create limited edition colors and customizable elements – like the decorative Jibbitz charms in the case of Crocs – so they really captured market share in the footwear market. tennis. ”

According to a recent report by industry website Business of Fashion, global sneaker sales are down in 2022. Until now, athletic shoes have been the top shoe style for casual wear.

The Birkenstock Boston Clog was the real game changer for the flip-flop trend. The style was first made in 1979 and came in wool felt for indoor use. For Fall 2022, a sheared-lined leather version made for outdoor use has been released. The Boston Clog was last year’s best-selling shoe, with online fashion search engine Lyst reporting that searches for the Boston are up 593% in the first six months of 2022. A leather version of the popular Arizona style has also become a sight. more common in winter 2022, when wearing socks with sandals during the cold months finally took off on the streets of Britain.

Uggs are shaping up to be this year’s Boston Clog, with sales up 105% in the past three months. The old Ugg boots, first popular in the 2000s, have been replaced by mini boots called the Ugg Tasman Slipper. Louise Sole, Footwear Buyer for John Lewis, says: “At John Lewis, we’ve seen an increase in slipper sales. In particular, Birkenstock, Anyday and Ugg proved popular. Ugg saw a 67% increase over last year. The viral UGG Tasman trend has only encouraged this, with camel and black selling out instantly. TikTok videos with the hashtag #uggtasmanslippers have had over 13 million views in the past month and Tasman continues to sell out. More and more fashion shoe brands have also launched slipper ranges. Toms, Crocs and Allbirds all released cozy versions of their popular styles.

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Brands that were previously unassociated with relaxation are also flocking to flip flops. Now, to put your feet up, there are Barbour Scottie Slippers, The North Face Thermo puffer, and Puma Scuffs. All of these styles are made from the same material as puffer jackets. You can even Just Not Do It in Nike Burrows made from fleece and soft marshmallow foam.

The luxury market has also produced new slipper styles. Liane Wiggins, head of womenswear at designer retailer Matchesfashion, says lined styles have sold particularly well: “The increase is driven by Birkenstock’s Arizona and Boston styles, but other bestsellers include Marni Fussbett and Prada backless loafers, that almost sold out. Shearling flip flops and sandals are a great versatile option as you can wear them in the summer but also pair with socks in the cooler months.

“It became cool to be hyper-casual and comfortable,” says Maguire. “But while some of us like to look like we just released a look together, others still have the hottest pair of flip flops possible, whether they’re green waffle Bottega Veneta flip flops or platform Crocs worn as flip flops, filled with custom Jibbitz. .”

Whichever style fits your aesthetic and your budget, the flip flops are ready to stay. Placing waste bins has never been so elegant.

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