Golden Goose Is Getting Some Serious Flak for ‘Glorifying Poverty’

Golden Goose is once again facing heat over its unusual sneaker designs.

The Italian brand is being lambasted on social media for “glorifying poverty” by selling a scuffed, battered-looking style covered with duct tape across the toe and heel. Part of Golden Goose’s new fall ’18 collection, the $530 Superstar Taped shoes are described on Nordstrom’s website as featuring design details such as “crumply, hold-it-all-together tape” and a “grungy rubber cupsole.”

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A closer look at Golden Goose’s taped-up kicks.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

But some consumers aren’t grasping the fashion appeal of the “intentionally distressed and destroyed” trend, which they believe makes light of being poor. The shoes have been slammed as “distasteful,” “shameful” and “offensive.” One outraged Twitter user commented, “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 tweet has since been liked more than 49,000 times.

“This is the world we live in. The rich imitating the poor,” another critic vented.

Others even reflected on hardships in their own families that had their relatives resorting to taping up their shoes when they couldn’t afford a new pair. “My mother and her siblings all had to wear tape on their shoes to school. My grandfather was fighting in World War I and II, and there was no money for shoes,” said a user named Holly Wilson.

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The sneakers also feature tape across the heel.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand

This is not the first time that Golden Goose has come under fire for its well-worn-in kicks. Two years ago, for instance, the brand was heavily criticized for a similar style featuring ripped laces and silver duct tape. Golden Goose responded to the controversy at the time, explaining that it has featured pre-distressed footwear and clothing in its collections for years.

“[Our] company is proud to highlight its pioneering role in the booming of the distressed look, one of the current biggest trends in fashion,” the Venetian label said in a statement to Us magazine. “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.”

Golden Goose has yet to respond to this latest controversy. In the meantime, the shoes are still available for sale on the brand’s website.

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