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We Spoke to the Twisted Genius Behind Croc Gloves

Look at the beauty and the chaos he has wrought upon our world.

by i-D Staff
26 August 2019, 7:13am

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.

In July, we reported with regret that Croc gloves now exist. These beautiful monstrosities came complete with Croc’s signature strap, a superfluous addition that some somehow made the gloves more frightful, and seemed to provide no real protection from the elements other than scaring the living daylights out of anyone that might see you wearing them. Unlike the shoes that inspired them, these gloves do not provide an ergonomic experience. In fact, as we wrote when we discovered them, they give us serious “lock you in my basement, flay you alive and wear your skin” vibes.

These hateful gloves were created by Unnecessary Inventions, a design project by self-professed evil genius Matt Benedetto, and were actually a pretty complex creation that involved 3D printing and procurement of Croc parts.

It was an inevitability that gloves would go viral. However, what Matt didn’t expect was to receive a cease-and-desist letter from Crocs themselves, who felt that his gloves, thanks to the name and the use of the Crocs logo, extended beyond parody (thereby falling under fair-usage laws) and into infringement.

Like Frankenstein and his Monster, it’s unclear whether Matt understood the weight and implications of his cursed creation. To find out, we got in touch with him in a bid to discover more about his motives, how the gloves came to be and what other terrors he plans to unleash upon the world.

Firstly, what compelled you to inflict this unthinkable evil on the world?

Recently I've had this strange fascination with Crocs. They seem to have navigated themselves from being a run of the mill looking shoe company into a somewhat relevant brand with streetwear and fashion brands. Especially with some of the out there collaborations I've seen them do from Balenciaga, Pizzaslime, Post Malone, and Chinatown Market - I knew I had to put my own Unnecessary Inventions spin on the classic shoes. I went with gloves because it sort of matched the utilitarian nature of the shoes and I thought it would really resonate with people.

I'm interested to know what was it about the original Croc design that made you think, I should make this worse?
I personally have never owned a pair of Crocs, and I'm not even sure if I've ever really put them on. However, they definitely have some visual cues that I knew I could recreate that would bring the shoes to mind. Mainly the back ankle strap - I knew it would make zero sense on your hand, and I thought the classic holes on the top would create quite the interesting tan lines on the back of your hand!

How many prototypes did you work with before deciding on the finished product?
Pretty much the design you see was first go around. I used a special type of flexible 3D Printer filament that I had never used before. So it took about 3-4 tries to really dial in the settings on my 3D printer. But once I had that set, I was good to go. The pair I used in the photos were my first and only attempt at it.

When, in your opinion, would be the most appropriate moment to slide on a pair of these baby blue ethylene-vinyl acetate fingerless virginity-keepers?
Considering you can barely use your hands with them on, I'd say just simply a street fashion look walking around in SoHo has these written all over it. Oh and of course my favourite meme I saw, "The Crocs Gloves stay on during sex".

Do you consider them more of a utilitarian reaction to the testing political climate we're completely in or pure avant-garde fashion fantasy?
This was definitely living out the fashion fantasy. Without a doubt I could see an Instagram model wearing theses in their OOTD post.

Of all the unnecessary inventions you've conceived, has this stoked the greatest backlash?
The most backlash I actually got was for my Avocado on a Stick. It made its way around some of the vegan communities online with most of the people thinking it was real. I got a lot of emails from people saying how I was ruining our earth with my use of plastic.

Is it true Crocs issued you a cease and desist?
They did send me one about 2 weeks ago now. They weren't too keen on the fact that I was using their name and logo in conjunction with the invention. But we came to an agreement that we will change the name and they can live on in their glory.

Any other crimes of humanity being cooked up in your lab that you can warn us about?
My notes folder in my phone is full of ideas and I am getting them out at a rate of about three inventions per week. You're just going to have to follow along to see what's next!

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.