Introducing the Ugly Sandal of Summer 2020
For the Spring/Summer 2020 season, much beloved brand slash tragically shuttering concept store Opening Ceremony has launched a collaboration with Teva. Tevas, once best-known as the dorky sandals you wore to go hiking or attempt non-sexual watersports, have become a fashion mainstay in recent years – the brand has collaborated with the likes of Anna Sui and Outdoor Voices, and several major fashion houses (Prada, Chanel, Marc Jacobs) have created their own takes on the shoe.
OC was one of the first-ever brands to collaborate with Teva, helping them cross over from the purely practical to the practically stylish. "When [design partner Carol Lim] and I were growing up in California in the '90s, Teva was seen as the antithesis of cool," Opening Ceremony founder Humberto Leon wrote in an email. "[They were] nerdy shoes, but we always loved them in their own way. When we first approached Teva in 2014, it came from our personal nostalgia for the brand. We thought it would be cool to remix them with interesting fabrications and details that hadn't been seen before on their classic sandals."
Since their initial partnership in 2014, Opening Ceremony has launched four collaborations with Teva (the 2020 take is their first since 2016), with styles ranging from satin sandals to color-blocked flatforms. For the 2020 drop, they've created three limited-edition shoes: the new Hurricane Sock, a shimmering lurex sneaker-sock hybrid, another flatform, and the Hurricane XLT2 Gladiator. The Hurricane Sock, which retails for $150 in unisex sizing, is available now, and the other styles will launch later in March and April.
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"We're thrilled to partner with Opening Ceremony for the fourth time on a limited-edition collection," Anders Bergstrom, General Manager at Teva, said in a press release for the collection. "We are honored to work with Opening Ceremony to bring three revolutionary styles to life. This collection is truly innovative and radical."
The Hurricane Sock – which comes in two monochromatic colorways, black and a toxic slime green – is enormously comfy, a flexible shoe with recycled, adjustable polyester straps that allow the wearer to adjust the fit. The look is clunkily futuristic, a shoe that could work for art students or hypebeasts or a particularly trendy dad who's enthusiastic about camping. They're ideal for a rocky beach, or to pair with hazmat suit for the coming pandemic (images promoting the shoe show models completely covered up in blow-up suits covered in prints of a California cityscape, a dream look for our coronavirus-inflected age). I'm wearing the green ones now, watching the lurex fabric twinkle in the sun on an uncharacteristically warm March day.
"Adding glitter and a little bit of sparkle to something classic has always been a signature of ours," wrote Leon. "The closed-toe sock makes it great for a transitional season shoe right now as the weather's starting to get warmer. They're super versatile and I love them for every situation–as city shoes, with socks, everything."
The buckles and easy fit make the Hurricane Sock recognizably Teva, but the silhouette and texture are something else. And the Liz Lemons among us will surely appreciate the fact that the shoes are breathable, but cover toes. "With this collection," wrote Leon, "we wanted to continue taking Teva's innovative, functional designs to create something even bolder than we had before."
Photos courtesy of Opening Ceremony