In a world of Nikes and Yeezys, Italian brand Golden Goose sneakers entered the competition with a pair of dirty looking shoes with duct-tape wrapped around the toe box area.
The Superstar Taped Sneaker from the Italian brand are available on Nordstrom and retails for a whopping $530. The sneakers are described as having a “crumply, hold-it-all-together tape details a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile with a signature sidewall star and a grungy rubber cupsole."
According to USA Today, the sneakers have already sold out on Nordstrom’s website. The good news is that Golden Goose offers plenty of other worn-looking sneakers in their footwear collection. The collection is described on their website as a combination of “refined and modern style with a vintage feeling.”
Before its sell-out on Nordstrom though, shoppers were not impressed with the intentional wear and tear appearance of the sneakers and called out Nordstrom for carrying them. Many shoppers echoed on Twitter that the sneakers fetishized poverty and shouldn’t be worth the high price tag.
In fact, the reaction was so strong that tweets berating Nordstrom for selling the sneakers made it onto Twitter’s moments landing page. Among the angry messages were criticisms about how the sale of the shoes were “peak capitalism” and “distasteful.”
Some Twitter users commented that they’d seen poor school kids ridiculed for wearing distressed shoes that looked similar to the Superstar Taped Sneakers.
Comedian Christine Sydelko tweeted, "there are people in the world wearing plastic bags as shoes because they can't afford any but these HIDEOUS things are selling for $500 the fashion industry is truly so f***ing stupid."
Sydelko’s tweet went viral and has received over 50,000 likes.
Golden Goose hasn’t responded to the widespread criticism, but they did defend the use of duct-tape to Us Weekly two years ago. They said in a statement at the time, “[The] duct tape reinforcements appearing on the [Superstar sneaker] style pay homage to the West Coast’s skater culture — professional skaters, who have inspired the brand’s shoe collections from the beginning, repair their shoes with the same kind of tape.”
Seeing how fast the sneakers sold out, the assumption is there’s a certain market for buyers who like duct-tape fashion but scuffed up sneakers might be taking the distressed trend too far.
But then again, this isn’t the first time that Nordstrom has riled up consumers with their business choices. The company recently sold a pair of PRPS men’s pants with dirt stains on them, for $425; and a pair of Topshop “mom jeans” with vinyl knee patches for $95.