For sneaker heads, the idea is ridiculous–why would anyone in their right mind buy tennis shoes that are pre-scuffed (“distressed”) and covered in artificial filth?
But for Italian luxury brand Gucci, the expectation is that gullible fashionistas with plenty of money to burn will fork over anywhere from $900 to $1,250 for the scuzzy sneakers, which look less like something you’d find in a mall and more like the second-hand offerings you’d find laid out on a towel in an urban flea-market.
The off-white leather sneakers, called the “Screener” after the basketball play, are the exact opposite of the cutting-edge line of Nike’s coveted Air Jordan b-ball kicks, which define sneaker culture yet retail for a fraction of the price.
Would you buy these Gucci dirty looking sneakers? pic.twitter.com/jkFTqF33ol
— REAL 92.3 LA (@Real923LA) March 20, 2019
On the company’s website, Gucci lays on the promotional hype thick in an effort to hawk the arguably gruesome tennies:
“Influenced by classic trainers from the ’70s, the Screener sneakers—named for the defensive sports move—feature the Web stripe on the side and vintage Gucci logo, treated for an allover distressed effect.”
And if you’re a woman who loves to display your uniqueness and originality through conspicuous-yet-crusty consumption, you can treat yourself to strawberry print low-tops for $980 or squander $1,250 for sneakers that are equipped with dangling “removable cherries with crystals that further pushes the notion of bringing contrasting elements together in new ways.”
Just in case your tore back kicks come in contact with real dirt–the kind that actual pedestrians and working people frequently encounter–Gucci offers meticulous instructions to keep your sneakers at just the right level of mud-caked grunge that the designers intended:
“Clean when the shoe is dry, using only neutral or same-color products to avoid staining.”
And here we are wondering which brand of antifungal powder we should sprinkle inside the ratty pair.
There are actually four versions of the new Gucci dirty sneaker. The first three are $870 each, the last one comes with crystals and is $1,590 a pair. pic.twitter.com/tMbKxoRqIm
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) March 20, 2019
Twitter users were quick to pounce on the latest attempt of the fashion industry to appropriate “the struggle,” i.e. the everyday reality of people who sometimes fall behind when trying to keep up appearances.
“Gucci is selling dirty sneakers for $1,100. Fun hack: For $700 you can buy a pair of regular Gucci sneakers and get them dirrty [sic] yourself,” wrote one user.
“Gucci is selling dirty sneakers with scuff marks for nearly $900 .. excuse me while I go look up STUPID RICH in the dictionary,” said a second internaut.
“People will buy them. It’s unbelievable but they will…,” another critic surmised.
“Hipsters in Williamsburg will,” said another, referring to the gentrified neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York City.
But our favorite comment nailed the problem of “poverty chic” right on the head:
“For those of you that want those go find a homeless person and give them $870 for their shoes. At least you will be helping someone…how ridiculous to buy shoes like that.”
For those of you that want those go find a homeless person and give them $870 for their shoes. At least you will be helping someone…how ridiculous to buy shoes like that.
— Neily Ona (@Neily_Ona) March 19, 2019