Welcome to our column, "Hey, Quick Question," where we investigate seemingly random happenings in the fashion and beauty industries. Enjoy!
According to both The Row's Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen and the street style pack at Copenhagen Fashion Week, flip-flops are back in all their rubbery glory. This may be a bitter pill to swallow, granted that toe thongs are often regarded as callous-creating, germ-ferrying agents that should be relegated to shorelines. But if you look at both the runway and those much-photographed influencers, fashion has (again) fully embraced flip-flops as toe-showcasing gifts.
The humble sandal once reserved for a post-pedicure errand and taking out the garbage first showed up on the Spring 2018 runways at Isabel Marant and Michael Kors before making an appearance among the show-goers outside of Men's Fashion Week back in June. But, we weren't convinced of their resurgence until the cheap-chic footwear was spotted all over Denmark's fashion-friendly capital earlier this month.
At Copenhagen Fashion Week, yellow flip-flops were paired with highlighter-hued designer dresses and rainbow-colored sequin bags, while more neutral ones balanced out all-over prints. Most show-goers traipsed around in a variety of shades from aughts-era favorite Havaianas. And among the mass of bright colors and usual expensive statement-making street garb, the flip-flops admittedly seemed to blend in rather well.
Elsewhere, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have championed the throwback sandals, making them look — dare we say – chic (and not at all like their beach-ridden characters in their 2001 film "Holiday in the Sun"). The duo was recently shot for WSJ. Magazine, announcing the launch of their label's menswear collection, in their standard black baggy wares, both in a pair of simple black flip-flops.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen weren't the only designers to revive the divisive sandal. Rihanna, accompanied her laid-back Barbados ensemble with pink flip-flops a few weeks ago. But the pop star has clearly been a fan of the flimsy footwear for a while: She introduced heeled versions as a part of Fenty Puma's Spring 2018 collection.
Before you go hunting down your own Havaianas, there are things to keep in mind when wedging a piece of plastic between your toes. For starters, the shoes expose your feet to a lot of dirt: The New York Daily News reported that wearing the summer slides around New York City, or any big city for that matter, can expose you to potentially deadly bacteria. What's more, many of the floppy rubber thongs are not designed with firm enough soles and are devoid of arch support, which can lead to heel, leg and back pain.
But if you are going to join the mass of floppers, Dr. Gary Prant, a podiatrist at Arbor Foot Health Center in Austin, Texas (and my dad!), advises avoiding wearing them on any trek of considerable distance. He also recommends wearing more supportive flip-flops by brands like Noat, Birkenstock and Teva, but discourages wearing the flimsier versions all together. "Those flip-flops are like going barefoot with little protection for the bottom of your feet," he says. "They protect your feet from stepping on a sharp stone or piece of metal, but give no support or anything else. I could never recommend them."
So, folks, I guess we'll get a taste of who doesn't mind walking barefoot in Manhattan during New York Fashion Week. Until then, and for those aren't bothered by dirt, you better start breaking in a new pair now to avoid dealing with blisters later.
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