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Golden Goose Superstar Sneakers don't just highlight the income gap on the college campus because of their price point — their appearance further enhances the divide.
Some of the high-end Italian brand's sneakers have a grunge aesthetic — they come pre-distressed. Golden Goose's $530 Beige Scotch sneakers — calf-suede shoes with dirty-looking soles and taped trim at the toes — elicited accusations that the company was "mocking poverty," reported Andy McDonald of HuffPost.
Golden Goose has recently been spotted on a host of celebrities, from Taylor Swift to Selena Gomez, according to Courtney Thompson of Bravo. But they've been a status symbol for more than a decade — according to The Cut's Emilia Petrarca, the pre-distressed Golden Goose started the "ugly-fashion" trend that the wealthy have been favoring as of late.
"Ten years ago, when the Golden Goose Superstar was first released, 'ugly' was different; today, it's a badge of honor," Petrarca wrote. Unlike critics, she says their "power lies in its disguise or mocking of luxury." By appearing worn-in, they don't come off as too precious like the clean, minimalist sneakers of other high-end brands like Lanvin or Common Projects, the latter of which "indulges in the idea that luxury can be quotidian," she said.
Lanvin and Common Projects, which are commonly priced in the $400 range, are popular among Silicon Valley tech CEOs to signify power in the workplace, according to Business Insider's Avery Hartmans. Meanwhile, $900 Balenciaga Triple S sneakers— another shoe deemed "ugly" — are taking over the fashion world. It's all part of how millennials are redefining sneakers as a status symbol.
Recently, small white shoes fell out of favor in the fashion circle, and the big and ugly old shoes became the new favorite of the fashion circle. So, what is the origin of Balenciaga Triple S? The "old shoes" is actually called Clunky Sneaker. The literal translation is "stupid shoes". In the past two years, it has been sought after by various indicators. Its characteristics are: the design is complex, chaotic and orderly layering, it is the "travel shoes" in the mouth of the parents. It's because their shape is very similar to the kind of shoes that Dad will wear. The sleek, thick air cushion and super-obtrusive brand LOGO are all about the old-fashioned taste. As the retro trend continues to burn, these 80's breathable items are also rising, not only not soil, but also become one of the most commonly used items in the fashion circle.