Iconic Items Fashion

How Did the '80s Jelly Shoe Become the Latest Cult Design From The Row?

The Row Mara Flats on the runway. Image courtesy of The Row.


The Mara Flats tap into the nostalgia of the child-wearer all grownup—and capitalizes on its once-a-decade recurrence in the trend cycle. Ye of little faith beware: The jelly shoe is here to stay!


Founded by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen in 2006, The Row has become a bastion of quiet luxury and its core tenets of quality materials, sophisticated tailoring, and understated minimalism. The brand’s exclusive status has only grown of late: the guests at the 2025 Resort collection runway were forbidden from taking photos. (The company opted to release their own perfectly choreographed shots instead.) This calculated precision has earned The Row its many acolytes—Jennifer Lawrence, Zoë Kravitz, and John Mulaney are often seen sporting their wares. Abbi Jacobson and Jodi Balfour wore two of their dresses off the rack for their recent nuptials.


Jelly shoes experienced a resurgence in the ‘80s when the French company La Sarraizienne began fashioning pairs in vibrant colors. Mostly catering to children, jelly shoes became a symbol of youth, ease, and life in plastic. Kirsten Dunst wore a sparkling transparent pair to the MTV Movie Awards in 1995, fully outfitted with crimped hair and white tights. If that doesn’t speak to the essence of the accessory, we don’t know what does. 

Which makes the arrival—and subsequent takeover—of the Mara Flat all the more timely. The netted PVC shoe, which comes in red, pink, clear, and “electric blue” colorways, harkens back to the sandal’s fisherman origins—and simple summer pleasures. The leather sole is practically hidden beneath the wearer’s feet, which creates the appearance of walking on the cross-hatched “jelly” alone. Styled on the Pre-Fall 2024 runway with billowing maxi dresses and oversized separates, jelly shoes took on a previously unknown level of sophistication under the brand’s carefully crafted gaze. It’s an unexpected, whimsical combination—and offers up a little-seen dose of humor from the ultra-coiffed twins.


The Fisherman: for those who want to shop a sturdier take.