Italian shoe brand Golden Goose is being called out on social media for selling a pair of $530 (over R7 500) sneakers with the following description, "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."

Yes, you unfortunately read that right. This company is selling shoes that are practically falling apart, but not quite, thanks to perfectly distressed tape sticking them together for hundreds of dollars.

The trainers are part of the brand's fall/winter 2018 collection. 

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Needless to say, responses on social media have been filled with outrage at the company's lack of sensitivity and just plain ignorance. Many are accusing Golden Goose of glorifying poverty while still attempting to turn a significant profit.

One person tweeted that “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,” while another described the whole fiasco as “peak capitalism.”

Twitter user @broookedanielle explained that kids at school used to get “made fun of endlessly” for having shoes that were taped together because they were falling apart.

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These statements are all true. Ironically, this isn’t even the first time Golden Goose has sold a pair of distressed trainers decorated with duct tape, having released an almost-identical pair of shoes in 2016.

At the time the trainers, which were being sold for $585 (R8 406), were described by Scottish comedian Brian Limond as “poverty appropriation."

However, the mocking of poverty is nothing new to the world of fashion. In 2000, Dior's John Galliano presented one of the most controversial shows ever staged: a haute couture collection inspired by Paris' homeless population. 

Galliano's looks included some that looked like newspapers piled on for warmth; for makeshift jewelry, he strung compilations of assorted garbage, from dented kitchen utensils to mini whiskey bottles.

This absolute disregard for the real plight of homeless people puts a grim lens on the fashion industry's lack of sensitivity when it comes to those living in poverty. I, just like many others, am struggling to understand the fashion appeal of the "intentionally distressed and destroyed" trend in shoes. It makes light of the lives of poor people and I find the shoes are distasteful and offensive.

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We are living in a world where the rich are imitating the poor, except they have the privilege to take those broken shoes off and return them to their box hidden from the rest of their designer shoe collection when they're no longer on trend.

It makes me reflect on the hardships my own family had to face. As a kid, my dad had to tape his shoes or go barefoot as his mom could not afford new shoes as often as he needed them. There was no money for what was a luxury and to think that this is now an aesthetic for the rich to parade around in is disheartening. 

Golden Goose has yet to respond to this latest controversy; however, the shoes remain for sale on the brand's website.  

What do you think of the trend? Chat to us here.

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