Would you be willing to pay R12k for these sneakers?
There are few things as satisfying as taking a brand new pair of pristine designer sneakers out of the box. But if you buy a pair of Gucci's distressed Screener leather sneakers, you'll have a different experience: these takkies come looking pre-worn and dirty.
Part of Gucci's 2019 Cruise collection, they're available in an array of variations for men and women. Prices start from $870, or just over R12.5k; the most expensive pair goes for more than R20k and is adorned with an art deco crystal chain.
In creating the Cruise 2019 collection, Gucci says it was influenced by "old school shapes and materials inspired by vintage sportswear". Their Screener sneakers in particular were inspired by the classic trainers from the 70s; they're described as having been “treated for an allover distressed effect”.
The Italian brand came under fire last month for its "balaclava jumper", which some said resembled blackface imagery. Now thanks to their Screener sneakers they're being criticised for commercialising poverty and trying to make being poor fashionable.
Social media has been abuzz with comments:
Gucci selling sneakers that look like they'd be a steal at Goodwill for $900. For rich people who want to show solidarity with the poor? "Distressed" shoes to match your *distressed* sense of priority and style? i dont get it.https://t.co/dzeqA1pXoL pic.twitter.com/oKHp6RJrfd— Adrian T. WOMACK (@weauxmaque) March 19, 2019
JOKEOFTHEDAY: Gucci is selling $870 “distressed” sneakers designed to look dirty. They are part of Gucci’s “We Will Make You Stupid People Broke” clothing line.— A Breckenridge (@ABreckenridge4) March 23, 2019
The Screener sneakers are not the only 'pre-loved looking' shoes Gucci has for sale. Their Rhyton leather sneakers are similarly retro-inspired and distressed-looking. Retailing for $790, they'll set you back just over R11k.