Flip-flops becoming fashionable

  • Julia Kilian
  • India
  • Oct 10, 2014



Flip-flops have never been a traditional part of high fashion - with or without socks. The general consensus is that open-toed rubber sandals do not belong in a stylish wardrobe. But that may be about to change, judging by events at the recent Berlin Fashion Week. A few of the menswear shows had models on the catwalk in flip-flops. And a surprising number of the front row female guests were decked out in thonged footwear. One famous model even trotted out with a pair of Adidas flip-flops, the Adilette. What was once a fashion faux pas is slowly making its way up the trend ladder. “Adilettes are very fashionable at the moment,” says top model Eva Padberg. “Not just on the catwalks but also in street fashion. They’ve been a trend since this summer and I think it’s a good development.” Fashion bloggers have been predicting the rise of the flip-flop as a hot fashion item for quite some time. Britain’s Guardian newspaper has observed that every top stylist and fashion conscious museum curator is sporting ‘pool sliders’. Flip-flops have never enjoyed a good press in the world of fashion. When the paparazzi catch a US celebrity wearing thongs in their free time, speculation quickly turns to the imminent downfall of his or her career. Shoppers, however, love flip-flops because they are very comfortable. Pool attendants wear them when on patrol and top sportsmen and women wear them after training. Adidas brought its first model onto the market at the beginning of the 1970s. Today, shoppers can choose from a huge range of colours and styles from many different makers. With the addition of a splash of gold, a designer can add a touch of chic to any flip-flop. Kilian Kerner has designed a pair with colourful rhinestones. Swiss designer Julian Zigerli has added flip-flops to his men’s collection. “Thongs are quite presentable, whether with shorts or with long trousers,” says Kerner. “Feet love wearing them on hot days.” But the jury is still out on whether the flip-flop designs Kerner produced for Berlin’s Fashion Week will ever make it to the stores. Retailers and shoppers will make that decision. For the moment at least, flip-flops are being worn mainly by fashionistas anxious to make a cool - and ironic - statement. Germany’s traditional Birkenstock sandal was once plagued with the question of whether it was cool or unhip. In the meantime it has become a fashionable form of footwear. Flip-flops still have to shake off their image as something worn while showering after a swim or a run, or at the sauna. Not every fashion critic has welcomed the tentative advent of the flip-flop - especially when it comes to it being worn with socks. When German model Bonnie Strange wore shinny copper flip-flops alongwith black tights on the catwalk in Berlin, German society magazine Bunte called her look a ‘styling sin’: “High heels would have suited her style better,” it said. Strange says she’s sticking with her thongs. “I have about 10 pairs of Adilettes at home.”


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