Long considered an ugly duckling among Prada-wearing Sarah Jessica Parker wannabes, Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX ) now wants to be a swan.
This week, the colorful Colorado clog maker previewed a line of women's shoes aimed at fashionistas of all sizes. Called "YOU by Crocs," they'll debut this fall in a handful of regions here in the U.S., featuring an array of spiky boots and sandals with gaudy names and even gaudier prices. (Retail will range from $150 to $300.)
There will be nine styles in all. Each YOU shoe will combine Crocs' signature Croslite material with blends of wool, suede, and leather, in hopes of producing footwear that women won't want to toss out a nine-story window in a ritual sacrifice.
I suspect they're on to something. When I showed pictures of the new styles to my wife at breakfast this morning, her reaction was an eyebrow-raising, "Hmmmm, interesting."
Translation: Sure, I'd try them. Especially if they won't cripple me.
Don't underestimate the power of that message. Deckers Outdoor (Nasdaq: DECK ) offers Crocs-like comfort with its UGG boots. To the delight of Motley Fool Hidden Gems subscribers, UGGs proved to be a massive winner.
What's more, the comfort-meets-style crossroads has been working for clothing retailers for decades, from Gap (NYSE: GPS ) to American Eagle Outfitters (Nasdaq: AEOS ) to J. Crew (NYSE: JCG ) . Why not Crocs, too?
Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers likes Crocs' shoes but still doesn't like the stock. Read Nate Parmelee's take to understand why. Tim didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy prefers flats to pumps and pizza to tacos.