Inside Crocs- Kids, Jibbitz and Crocs Accessories
Posted June 14, 2010on:
Earlier this week, I sat down with Anne Klein, Creative Lead, Jibbitz & Crocs Accessories. Here’s a look at our conversation around her design involvement with kids’ footwear, Jibbitz and Crocs accessories.
How long have you been at Crocs?
I originally came to work for Jibbitz™ in August 2006 and shortly later, we were purchased by Crocs™. Everything took off from there. I worked primarily on Jibbitz™ and then worked on Crocs™ kids’ footwear for a year on the Fall 2010 line and Spring 2011 line. Now, I am working to grow the Jibbitz™ and Crocs™ accessory business.
What kids’ style do you think will have an impact from the Fall/Winter 2010 line?
I think Crocs™ is doing a great job designing different styles. Most people think we make only clogs, but we’re really exploring many different silhouettes with the same core properties of comfort and fun. Particularly for kids, for Fall 2010 it was really important that we create Back to School shoes. So, we have a whole team of designers across the world that pulled together and made some great designs. In the U.S. we take all of those designs, whether they’re our’s, or Italian designs, or fellow-colleagues’, and we pull them all together. We color them, assign prints to them, and put it all together to form a cohesive collection that merchandises well. I think Back to School items like our sneakers for boys and girls will be a big hit – particularly the Crocband™ Sneak. I think CrocaSam and CrocaSally will be big hits because they are a cute winter boot style that’s warm and easy to slip on and slip off. There are a lot of other great designs coming too, so get excited!
What is happening in the Crocs Accessories?
Jibbitz™ has had great success by creating vehicles, other than our footwear, that can hold charms. Items such as the Crocs™ O’Dial and the Flibberty Purse have received a lot of customer attention. I designed the Flibberty Purse—it’s a little molded purse that comes with a big plush flower charm. Girls can put extra charms in it, too. Toys”R”Us sells it as a game carrier since many portable game devices fit perfectly into it. Customers are definitely interested in additional products for their charms—from footwear to a variety of molded and non-molded accessories.
What do you love about your job?
What I love about Jibbitz™ and Crocs™ Accessories is that it’s very exploratory and experimental. It means constantly trending at a bigger level, because it’s not segmented to one particular product. It deals with a variety of products.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Honestly, everything can be inspiring. I really try to tune into what is happening on a worldwide level, what’s happening in economics and in politics. Things that really speak to what people are feeling and how they’re buying, and even what their eye is turning towards creatively. So, that inspires me to try to predict how people are going to shop and how they’re going to feel in a couple of years from now. It’s like predicting the future…but it’s educated at the same time.
I really can draw inspiration from anything and it can be as obvious as going to an art museum and seeing some VanGogh’s to something like this bottle cap.
What advice would you give new designers just starting out?
It’s one thing to be a designer, and it’s totally different to be a smart designer. I think you’re a much better designer when you understand what’s around you—you understand the trends around you, you understand how the sales people sell it, and you understand how the customers look at it. So, it’s not just “I draw pretty shoes or pretty skirts,” it’s so much more involved. Approach this as a learning experience if you’re just getting started and absorb everything.
Thank you, Anne, for sitting down with us and sharing your story with the Crocs community!