If you can afford to lay out more than $500 for a new pair of kick-around shoes, you likely want a pair that looks clean. Nordstrom is banking on just the opposite, however, by stocking Golden Goose's Superstar Taped Sneaker. The shoe is described as "a distressed leather sneaker in a retro low profile," available for $530 a pair, though just as distressed as the leather are those who say the shoes are a distasteful mockery of the poor, per USA Today. That's because the sneakers are detailed with "crumply, hold-it-all-together tape" and feature a "grungy rubber cupsole" (translation: They look scuffed and dirty). CNN notes negative reaction toward the sneakers made it into Twitter's "Moments" section. One commenter who reached out to Nordstrom online, calling the sneakers "awful" and "insensitive," actually received a response, albeit a generic one.
"We appreciate your feedback," Nordstrom tweeted. "We realize taste is subjective and not every customer will like every product we carry." The commenter responded by noting she'd grown up "ridiculously poor" and that "this isn't about taste. It's about not recognizing that a store ... doesn't get that poverty isn't fashionable. ... That my embarrassment & struggle is being marketed disgusts me." Not everyone is perturbed by the product, per HuffPost, with some noting that Golden Goose has long been known for selling "distressed" attire. In fact, the brand faced a similar controversy over scuffed, dirty-looking sneakers in 2016 and said it was "proud" of promoting the "distressed" fashion trend. If the thought of owning a pair of expensive, banged-up footwear appeals to you, you're out of luck for the moment anyway: Nordstrom's website says they're all sold out of the sneaker. (Read more Nordstrom stories.)