Balenciaga criticised for selling filthy garbage sneakers for S$2,590

Has high fashion gone too far?

Syahindah Ishak | May 19, 2022, 06:56 PM

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Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga has unveiled its "Paris Sneaker" collection, featuring "full destroyed" limited editions of the high-top sneakers that cost S$2,590 each.

These sneakers are designed with distressed canvas and rough edges, affecting a pre-worn look.

Screenshot from Balenciaga's website.

Screenshot from Balenciaga's website.

"Extra destroyed"

Balenciaga also released a dedicated campaign that showed versions of the shoes looking extremely worn, marked up, and dirtied.

Screenshot from Balenciaga's website.

Screenshot from Balenciaga's website.

Balenciaga said that 100 pairs of these "extra destroyed" sneakers will be available on its website in either black or white.

"Meant to be worn for a lifetime"

Balenciaga explained that the life portraits of these "extra destroyed" limited edition shoes, which were photographed by Leopold Duchemin, suggest that "Paris Sneakers are meant to be worn for a lifetime".

The sneakers, however, have received a lot of backlash from consumers worldwide, mainly due to its completely worn out design and high cost.

Some people also wondered if Balenciaga was simply trolling everyone.

Strong criticism from Chinese consumers

Most recently, at least 2 million consumers in China took to Weibo to voice their criticisms, reported South China Morning Post (SCMP).

Some said, according to SCMP, that the sneakers were "too ugly" to effectively convey the campaign's main message.

Some also found that the extremely roughed up design of the shoes shows how the wealthy can be insensitive and tone-deaf.

One Weibo user said, as reported by SCMP: "I can find a pair of these shoes in the bin for free."

Not the first time

This is not the first time Balenciaga has sparked anger amongst Chinese consumers.

In 2018, Chinese consumers wanted to boycott the luxury brand after a Chinese tourist was seen being roughly manhandled by security guards at a Balenciaga outlet in a Printemps department store in Paris.

In 2020, Balenciaga received flak from Chinese consumers after it launched a series of bags for Chinese Valentine's Day.

The promotional images of the bags on the official Balenciaga online store on TMall were deemed unattractive, with many online commenters on Weibo saying that they are "gaudy" and "insulting".

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Top images via Balenciaga website.