Brace yourself: In an interview with Details, chef Mario Batali dropped the bomb that Crocs is discontinuing its line of orange clogs which have become the chef's signature footwear. The Bistro Mario Batali Vent Clog launched in 2007, with Batali saying in a press release: "It's not hard to see that I'm a supporter of Crocs, given that I wear them on a daily basis."
So what is Batali going to do? In the short term, Batali says that he placed a final order for 200 orange crocs, which really should tide him over for a little while. ("They made a special run for me before they retired the color," he says.) And Batali isn't taking the news lightly, either. Said the chef: "They're gonna stop the Mario Batali orange! It's preposterous!" As of publishing, there are actually some pairs available from the Crocs site in orange, at the reduced price of $34.99 (down from $44.99), though the brand appears to be running out of men's sizes.
Back in 2012, Batali explained how his beloved look of shorts and orange Crocs developed to chef Eric Ripert: "I think what I realized as an owner of my own place, I could do whatever I wanted ... It was just about comfort, it wasn't about fashion. Now of course, I'm a fashion icon." The color orange has special significance for Batali, who told Inc. that it's his family's "national color." He said orange and yellow coats helped him spot his kids when they were little in New York City, and his first pair of orange Croc-style shoes were a gift from his wife on the opening of Po. Batali hasn't yet identified "something better" than the orange Croc, so shoe companies, hop to it.
UPDATE 11/22: A rep from Crocs confirms that while the company is indeed discontinuing the bright-orange Crocs beloved by Batali, the chef's namesake line of Bistro Mario Batali Vent Clogs will still be available, and that plans are to add an additional design in the coming year. Says the rep, "the Batali collection currently includes the Bistro and Bistro Vent both available in orange and have been specially designed for those in the kitchen."
Below, Batali on why he loves Crocs:
Video: Mario Batali on Crocs
· Q&A: Mario Batali [Details]
· All Mario Batali Coverage on Eater [-E-]