The “distressed” look is trendy again. But does it make any sense to pay money to buy a pair of ripped jeans that look like they’v been worn for years?
One famous example that has been making the rounds on social media is a shoe made by Gucci called “The Screener.” When it was first launched it sparked a controversy because it looks old and dirty. The price? AED 3,150. Gucci said the shoes were inspired by classical trainers from the 1970s, “treated for an allover distressed effect.”
Milad Ahmadi, a senior fashion designer student at the Parson’s school of design in New York, said via Instagram that “it reinforces classism since it validates wearing ‘dirty’ shoes but only for the wealthy. If you are actually in a state of poverty / homelessness, without access to clean clothes, you are still socially subject to ridicule.”
Levis, the American store known for selling denim jeans, offers a service where customers can bring in their regular pair of jeans and get them ripped on the spot in the whatever ripped-style they desire.
A social experiment was taken by the shoe store Payless to trick fashion influencers into paying a massive amount of money for affordable shoes. The retailer invented a new shoe store called Palessi and invited last year fashion influencers to a fake grand opening. The influencers paid between $200 and $600, for Payless shoes that normally cost about $40. After all this was revealed to the people who attended the event, Payless offered them to keep the shoes for free, and returned their money back.
Dave Reibstein, a marketing professor at Wharton school of Business, reacted to the experiment and said in an interview with CBS Philly that “people look at the surrounding and that’s part of what it is they’re buying.”
Fashion keeps evolving in different ways, as people keep tracking the latest trends in order to fit in. Also, influencers and fashion bloggers have become the new trendsetters, updating people with fashion news. Fashion bloggers also tend to promote the need to have high-end brands, and some people can’t afford that, therefore this creates controversy among people.