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Celeb-Adored Golden Goose Responds to Distressed Sneaker Controversy

Golden Goose
Golden Goose Distressed Superstar Sneakers Courtesy Barney's

Consumers are outraged at Golden Goose, a brand loved by Hilary Duff and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, for selling purposely damaged sneakers that cost nearly $600.

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The Distressed Superstar Sneakers are offered in a variety of hues and with different details, including glitter and duct tape. One particular $585 faded pink suede pair that’s “taped” along the heel and on the toe got the attention of a shocked tweeter, @fergnerduson. “Lmao wait one minute,” he posted August 27 along with screen grabs from Barneys’ website. The tweet racked up more than 8,900 retweets, 8,200 favorites and plenty of responses that echoed the same sentiment. “the struggle is NOT real,” @chrissylunar joked. “they on they Kanye west shit with these,” @PLUGFATHER_ added. And another user,  @PaulBaldovin, simply called it “poverty appropriation.”

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Now, the Italian label is defending itself against the backlash. “The company, which launched in 2000 with a customized re-edition of vintage denim items, and in 2003 walked the first steps in the U.S. market with ‘Golden Boots,’ classic Texan boots re-designed in a stylish way, is actually proud to highlight its pioneering role in the booming of the distressed look, one of the current biggest trends in fashion,” it wrote in a Thursday, September 1, statement.  “In particular, Golden Goose Deluxe Brand, declares that the duct-tape reinforcements appearing on the [“Silver Tape” sneaker] style pay homage to the West Coast’s skater culture — professional skaters, who inspired the brand’s shoe collections from the beginning, use to repair their shoes with the same kind of tape.”

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According to Golden Goose, the purposely-lived-in-looking shoes, handmade in Venice by shoemakers who use fine materials, “conveys a sense of effortless luxury and expresses the variety of personal experiences of those choosing the label’s creations, also exalts the exclusive craftsmanship behind the brand.” Golden Goose maintains that “constant product requests, which cannot be totally accommodated by the company,” are a testament to the brand’s success. 

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