MEET THE COLLECTOR: Lance and Debi's HUGE Croc Collection
How many pairs of Crocs do you have? I bet you don't have nearly the amount that Blair & Lance Sugarman have. Meet Blair and Lance, two collectors who have a love for the Crocs brand - not only do they have a large collection but they have a ton of rare pairs aswell.
How many years have you been collecting sneakers/Crocs?
We have been collecting shoes since before we were together, so at least as far back as 1995. As far as our Croc collection goes, we have been collecting since 2004.
How many pairs are currently in your collection?
If we put a number on it, it would be too many! We don't know how many pairs we have. We always have a few pairs in transit or hiding in the back of a closet somewhere. If we were to answer seriously, our collections combined easily total over 500 pairs.
What is your earliest sneaker or Croc memory?
Blair: When we first started getting serious about our relationship Lance wore Crocs. I hated them! Then when I got pregnant, they were the only thing that fit me. After that, there was no turning back. As far as sneakers, I remember dying to have a pair of air max 97 "silver bullets". I begged. my mom took them to the register and bought them. I couldn't believe it. Then I found out that they were for her. I never let that down. Now I have about 6 pairs of 97s.
Lance: My first Croc memory would have to be seeing them in the mall, on sale. I picked up a pair and immediately loved their uniqueness of them. I bought a tan pair and wore them every day to school (I was a kindergarten teacher at the time). They were fantastic for water play during the hot days! My first memorable sneaker memory was walking into JC Penny and seeing the Reebok pump for the first time. I couldn't believe someone would pay a hundred dollars for a sneaker. If only I knew what the future would bring.
What started your love for collecting Crocs?
Our love for collecting Crocs really began when they started rolling out awesome collabs! We are both og Croc-ers but the love and passion really kicked in when we started seeing things that we knew we couldn't live without. Who doesn't need a pair of KFC Crocs that smell like chicken or a pair of Wu-tang Crocs??? Oh yeah, and the comfort and versatility too.
What is your favorite pair in your collection?
Blair: Favorites are hard to pick because there are so many that I love. The Atmos collab that I have from a few years ago (from Japan) is awesome! It's chunky and glittery. It's platformed and has pink sneakers laces. It's as if a sneaker and a Croc had a perfect baby for me!
Lance: My favorite pair is my Lightning McQueens. They look great; people love them, and they light up and make me run faster!!!
What is the rarest pair in your collection?
The rarest pair in our collection would have to be a more recent pair—the Steve Harrington Quickstrike Classic All-Terrain Clog. There are only 200 pairs, and they were originally only set to release at an event that never happened. Although they aren't as rare, the MCM collab pairs would also probably rank very high on this list. Or the set of Christian Cowens.... or the Lazy Oaf set.... or....
How do you feel about the recent hype the Crocs brand has received? Is it now harder for you to cop products from the brand?
This is a tough one to answer. As much as we would love to keep Crocs to ourselves and to our fellow Croc-heads, we are glad that they have become more desirable and mainstream. Crocs is really pushing their limits now to make newer, cooler, more exclusive stuff to keep up with the demand and market. We love that there is always something coming out and that they are constantly growing. The flip side of that is not so great. It has definitely become more and more difficult to obtain collaborations and other hot items for retail because there are so many people involved now who weren't before. So, we would answer that we enjoy the hype for sure. It's a challenge that we go through together. Constantly trying to get the news first on a release, finding a restock, or networking with friends. A lot of the experiences we have gone through in our collecting probably wouldn't have happened if there was no hype or desirability. Lance definitely wouldn't have slept outside for 14 hours to get me the Biebers, and I know that without him working his magic, I never would have had the chance to flex the biggest damn MCM bag I've ever seen through the mall after we secured both pairs via a presale.
Why are Crocs so special to you?
We would both agree that the Crocs style isn't for everyone. With that in mind there is a huge group of people who love them like we do. We have made friends all around the world with the same interest. Each pair is unique in the origin story of how it was obtained, from who and where. It's like sneakers were in the early days before everything was about reselling. We have built amazing relationships with complete strangers. We bring joy to people when we wear them. There is truly something for everyone with Crocs and when someone unfamiliar sees something like a Grateful Dead pair or Bad Bunny it's a great starting point for conversations that may never have happened. We have made pairs for teachers, special events, and even our children's special needs ice hockey teams coaches. That's really what really makes them special to us, the culture.
What is your favorite silhouette?
Blair: My favorite silhouette has to be the Bae, and not just because it makes me noticeably taller than Lance.
Lance: My favorite has to be the classic clog. Comfortable and stylish and if i ever run into trouble, all i have to do is put them into sport mode (or as some might say 4x4) and handle my business.
There seems to be a big community of Croc lovers. How important is the aspect of community in collecting?
There is a huge community of Croc lovers!! A lot of people don't realize how big they have become locally and globally! We have started our own private Croc group just so we can stay on top of it all. It definitely takes a village. We help each other by sending group messages and creating events to remind everyone of release dates. We pick up pairs when we know someone needs or wants them. We have made friends all over the world, in places like Japan, Australia, and England that ship us regional releases that we otherwise wouldn't be able to get, and vice versa. The most important and best thing about collecting Crocs is by far the relationships that we have developed. We celebrate each other's wins and we look out for each other. As cliche as it sounds, we truly are a family.
Anything else you would like to add?
There are many collectors that we personally know that share the same passion and excitement as we do for Crocs. Some have been collecting longer and many have much larger collections. We love that we all support each other and work together to grow the brand and contribute to developing the culture around Crocs. Within our Croc family we encourage, support and uplift each other. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity to share our knowledge and passion with you.
If you weren't collecting Crocs what else do you think you'd be collecting?
If we were not collecting Crocs, our sneaker collection would probably be double what it is, and it's already too big so..... THANK GOD FOR CROCS!!!!!