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Picking Our Sartorial Jaws Up Off The Floor Of The Basketball Court

I think we’ve gone too far. Distressed jeans, OK. Premium sweatpants, well, if not for me then maybe someone.  But distressed sneakers?

Golden Goose Distressed Sneakers

Evidently. Golden Goose “Francy” NYC sneakers, via Barneys, for $565. Expensive distressed sneakers. Will wonders never cease.

41 Responses

  1. “Distressed”? They look like ordinary dirty sneakers to me. I wouldn’t pay ten cents for them at Goodwill.

  2. I can understand if distressed anything becomes a trend. But having to buy them pre-distressed spells “fashion victim” to me.
    Reminds me of the “Last Look” page in the January issue of Vogue. A picture of a distressed (some might even say ratty) knapsack with “repurposed” (their word) accessories on it (zipper pulls etc) and the Chanel double C’s spray painted on it. Cool if a kid in my class thought to do that on their own. Insane to pay the $3400.00 they’re asking for it!

  3. Must be going around. I had a sartorial-jaw-dropping moment recently when I spotted a pair of sweatpants priced in the hundreds of dollars (bad enough), entirely photo-printed to appear as ratty distressed jeans (even worse). Gave new meaning to the term “badass.” Sorry I can’t remember where I saw them, or I’d send a link.

  4. I just cannot get onboard with the distressed style. Especially not for women of a certain age (I know, I know). It looks sloppy because it is. If I spend that kind of money on shoes, I sure as hell do not want to look like a homeless person who sadly does not have a choice.

    1. @Cornelia, when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in South America, I traveled around and saw a lot of American tourists, especially in Bolivia and Peru. They were often so sloppy – men unshaved, hair not cut, dirty clothes with holes. I always wondered what the locals, many of whom were very poor, but clean and as well groomed as they could be, thought about the “poor on purpose” look.

  5. Helldamnwhoa, read the Barney’s description, they’re SUEDE! with NY-thematic glitter! and NY-thematic scenery shopped onto the other side! and a ZIPPER! The shoelaces may even be faux with that side-zipper on board. Or maybe the zipper’s faux. I WISH I could hear the narrative behind the squeals of the gals who just gotta have these shoes, whipping out their Visa, longing for UPS to hurry these to the front door. Genuinely curious…

  6. Ah, and thus was written “the emperor’s new clothes”. Perhaps we awaken to realize that we have been being sold…down the river. ( If I may mix a few metaphors.)

  7. All this “distressed” business… Puzzling… It’s as if everyone wanted to “look poor.” Even though they can pay huge prices for clothing.



    1. You see, this whole time I’ve been thinking, maybe they are good in LA? And there we have it!

    2. I even have them – not this model, a low top, taupe pair that I wear all the time. Yes, they’re pricey, but they’re leather, well made, very durable, etc. I’ve paid more for sandals with two thin straps and a sole.

    3. I like them a lot. I’ve worn Superga’s for years, but have never seen them in suede before – really great and love the “pinking” trim.

  8. As art? It’s fantastic.

    As fashion? Not so much.

    But maybe it is, as much fashion these days, selling a lifestyle. Like the Texas college student whose Uggs and North Face jacket won’t ever see anything colder than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

    These shoes say, “I’m rough around the edges. I’ve SEEN things.” And to those in the know, “I can buy $595 shoes.”

    Does fashion make a statement about who we are, or about who we would like to be?

    1. @Andrea, “Does fashion make a statement about who we are…”

      This question boggles the mind; my response is No, fashion can’t possibly make “a statement” about who you are. I think one might HOPE his/her clothing will telegraph something idealized at point of purchase. But once the wearer hits the street/office/theatre, the ensemble [if noticed at all] will be processed by zillions of individual filters, producing zillions of unrelated inferences. Is an inference “a statement”? If so, then Yes, fashion causes multiple inferences to be made, but not [in my mind] “a statement.”

  9. Not for me. I rather enjoy wearing my own shoes out. Each to her own or put another way,”there’s a sucker for every seat on the bus”.

  10. Do they come pre-smellyfied, too? I guess they’re for the gal who wants to look rough around the edges *right now*, so that she doesn’t have to own her shoes for an onerous amount of time before getting “the look”? I dunno. I live in a small farm town, where families of 6 pay this for rent, so it’s sort of stunning to me that there is a market for this type of “luxury” good.

  11. Lisa, the suede Superga X sneaks you linked for Kathy are terrific — and almost half the price. They are far more logical (and practical, and better-looking) a choice, if one is looking for fancy, pricey, tomboy treads.

    It’s not quite as absurd when someone spends a lot on an outrageous look if they are really striving for high fashion. But spending high for low fashion is jarring for anyone who isn’t a rapper.

    BTW, I’d be interested in reading your take on fashion camo at some point. I’ve always liked camo patterns — but cannot bring myself to wear it when wars are still being fought.


  12. There’s absolutely no chance I would wear those.

    My teenagers would most likely agree, as they scorn any clothing item that comes “distressed” and think that any person who wears such items is lacking originality and true style. To them, the only way distressing (such as it is) should occur is by wearing new items until they fade and break in.

  13. I can provide anyone interested a pair of identically-distressed sneakers for oh, $500 all in.

  14. these don’t bother me, actually; i’d never purchase them, but i imagine the sort of person who’d be interested in the jane-birkin’s-actual-birkin sneaker look but not the constant (and monotonous – just think of all the other shoes you’d have to set aside!) wearing it would take to get to said sneaker look organically would be willing to pay $500 to have the footwork completed on their behalf (and to skip the grottiness involved in authentic patina). good distressing is hard to do, and it’s expensive. luxuries are worth what we’re willing to pay for them, &c.

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