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Golden Goose Shoes: Why the Hype?

If you attend a university in a southern state, you most likely know what Golden Goose shoes are. For those who don’t, however, the shoes come from an increasingly popular sneaker brand worn by the wealthy teenagers of America. They are often purposely weathered in design, made to look as though they have been previously worn and dirtied. Several of the shoes are bought with intentional browned spots on the sole, scuffs, and darkened laces. Despite this signature look, they carry an instant connotation of affluence, and most retail in between $500 and $1,000.

So why would anybody pay $1,000 for a look that is noticeably more in line with lower-class fashion? For the same reason that plain shirts with holes in them retail for hundreds of dollars and get purchased. Certain items in the fashion industry serve as a subtle fetishization of the fashion culture of those in poverty, and those not in poverty seem to love it. For them, this imitative and unexpected look is art. For the lower-class, this look and its price is a mockery of a culture that is often looked down upon by luxury fashion brands. 

In my opinion, on top of their distressed design, many of the Golden Goose shoes are simply just ugly– weirdly enough, some people who I have talked to who actually own a pair agree with this sentiment. The Golden Goose shoes seem to have reached a point where they are so ugly that they are cute. Although this is a strange way to blow up in the fashion industry, for the Golden Goose brand, it seems to be working.

Anna Kronthal is a second-year student at UVA majoring in English and Politics. She likes to binge-watch Netflix, scroll through TikTok, dance, and play with her dog.
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