McLaughlin has long been a celebrity in the Instagram design world since around 2017. Former sneaker designer Reebok made her viral debut after creating slippers from volleyballs and Carhartt scraps. âMy Instagram is my exploded brain,â McLaughlin says. The images spread quickly. The shoes were the kind of quirky, make-your-look creations that garnered thousands of likes and adoring comments. Slowly, McLaughlin began to venture further into the more absurd world of DIY creations, producing clothing and furniture. Some of her most popular pieces are bras with cups made from juicers that are, yes, fully functional; vests made from deodorant packaging; folding chairs from slices of Arcteryx clothing; and even a pump with a golf club head as a heel. In an Instagram video, McLaughlin successfully hits a golf ball with his heel.
While the designs often leave the viewer wondering why, people nonetheless ask McLaughlin how to buy them. âI would get a lot of inquiries, or they would just send me their size and say, ‘Oh, here’s my shipping address,’ McLaughlin explains. Before Crocs, McLaughlin had never officially produced pieces but instead made unique pieces. The collaboration with Crocs came at the right time. A year ago, McLaughlin joined Foot Locker’s Greenhouse incubator program, a way to connect consumers with up-and-coming designers, which made the collaboration with Crocs easier. âIt was a dream because, naturally, the shape I always use looks like a slipper or a house clog,â she says. For the collaboration, McLaughlin focused on making the shoe a bit more interactive. âThere were options for a safer route, but I was like, ‘How far could I push Crocs to create something that matches my vision with their specs? on the theme of Crocs. In addition to the storage pockets and bungee cords, the Crocs also come with sock-shaped slippers made from chalk bags that have a pocket on the back. âThe wearer can customize it even more and put a candy bar or something under the bungee cord instead of the cord,â she says.
McLaughlin isn’t the only one in the shoe business with goals other than walking. Similar multifunctional concepts slowly appeared in the footwear world. In recent years, Nike has made sandals with fanny packs, and Vivienne Westwood’s Asics collaboration has a mesh storage unit. The concept fits perfectly with McLaughlin’s philosophy of making objects a dual functional purpose. âI’m starting to see functionality become hyper-functional in shoes, which I like,â she says. And here, the absurdity of some of the designs is ultimately inspiring. âI want to be able to create something that inspires other designers and brands to come out and use it as a little cake inspiration.â