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Articles > Culture July, 19, 2017

The New Fashion Trend Where You Pay £300 To Look ‘Homeless’

Summer Dolan
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People are paying over £300 for pairs of Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Superstar Sneakers. These are the latest fashion trend and although you may think they’re just like any other overpriced designer trainer, they are not. You won’t have seen anything like these from Nike or even Yeezy before…


dirty shoe trend leads causes poverty appropriation

Duct tape, stained soles and laces… They can’t be for real?

These trainers are essentially dirty, worn-down shoes at pitched up prices. I’m not joking. They’re generally suede with distressed detailing like deliberate staining, frayed laces, and strategically placed duct tape. They’re being described as ‘urban’, but others just see it as a ridiculous new trend, and more importantly an example of poverty appropriation.

Their value as an example of poverty appropriation comes through the fact that their distressed, run-down and worthless look is exactly the same legitimately distressed, legitimately run-down, and legitimately worthless look that so many working class children are forced to wear and quietly try to conceal. I say this from personal experience.

The trainers of working class children are either cheaply bought, unbranded trainers from wherever sells them at the lowest price, or from a cheaper, ‘chavvy’ fashion house as a present at a slightly higher price, with every penny scrimped and saved in order to get them. They reach the state that the Golden Goose Deluxe Brand Superstar Sneakers are sold in through months of wear and when they do reach this state, working class children won’t get to claim their trainers as proof of how edgy they are; they’ll endure spiteful comments about how much they cost, and how long they’ve been wearing them.

These children will grow up, and those exact, more privileged, peers who demeaned them for their footwear and social standing, thanks to the cyclical nature of both poverty and wealth in our country, are the same people who will be privileged enough to afford the Golden Goose trainers.

The exact aspects of working class life that poor children are tormented over become commercialised, with prices set so high it excludes them from the trend that their own hardship inspired.

These shoes simply promote this ‘I-bought-it-because-I-can’ nature residing in arrogant wealthy people, it’s just another way for the rich to rub the poor’s face in their fortune.

Poverty appropriation doesn’t just come in fashion though. It comes in music, we’ve all met that one denim-clad fresher who won’t stop talking about how he feels that he just ‘gets’ the lyrics of some obscure, working class band from the North despite mummy and daddy paying him right through each semester. Poverty appropriation comes in cuisine, with beans on toast being sold for £10 as ‘vegan, haricot beans in a pureed tomato sauce a la flour, water, and yeast’, and it can even come in architecture…

The ‘minimal living’ movement is continually gaining popularity, and basically involves living how individuals oblivious to the actual lifestyles of the poor, think poor people live. It’s a ‘less is more’ approach that involves only living with the essentials, but it’s offensive because actual poor people are often the last to give away the clutter that ‘minimal living’ requires them to. Do you know what actual poor people live like? They live like Grenfell tower residents. They live in cramped, dangerous, homes of multiple occupancy, where their concerns about their safety are met with, silence until disaster strikes.

So, while there’s nothing wrong with being middle/upper class, there is something wrong with being middle/upper class and pretending not to be. You don’t get to play-act as a poor person because it’s suddenly fashionable, when you’ve not had to hear thousands of songs about expensive, decadent lifestyles you know you’ll never achieve, when you’ve not had to eat bread and rice for all three meals because they’ll fill you up and they’re all that you can afford, and when you’ve not had to deal with your loved ones being burned alive as a result of substandard accommodation.


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  1. alie

    They’re not trying to mock poor people, yet it is not pleasant to dress like that. People should be aware what else is around them in their community so they do not offend someone.

  2. Katy

    Great article Summer! I think it’s disgusting that these trainers are considered high trend fashion

  3. Laura

    brilliant article, this really rings true to my experience too, I am shocked that they are even made and purchased. This just highlights the need for social justice with pay gaps widening and Grenfell people need to stand up.

  4. Lilly

    I think… they are using homelessness to flaunt their money, this could offended people who are actually homeless

  5. Athish

    I think…this is a great article,but why do people pay soo much for just an old looking shoes you can buy 2 pair of clean shoes with that bucks

  6. Lisa

    I think that it is sad people want to pretend to be poor and pay for it, without ever having lived that experience. The homeless struggle a lot and go through a lot of issues, and imitating them while possessing a lot of money is stupid and selfish. Similarly, I think that one could buy cheap, crappy clothes that look terrible and homeless without paying the extra cash. The extra cash could go to donations for people who struggle to eat every day on the streets.


    I think…this article is so informative. I did not even know that people actually paid ridiculous amounts of money for such a fashion trend.

  8. Bobii

    That’s an amazing blog post! I have never heard of things like this.. The fashion is up to another level lol

  9. Faith

    I think that this is so accurate and relevant but also relatable to every day life

  10. Mo

    I totally agree with this, the fact that these high-fashionable trainers drained out so much of your money to promote a different but rugged look.

  11. nigar

    I think they are very trendy

  12. Ari

    I think it’s just a trend, like any distressed shirt, distressed jeans, dirty trainers, distressed scarves and now distressed shoes. I don’t think its suppose to be offensive, all over America this fashion thrives and it might come as a surprise but it’s seriously what people want,I personally don’t but others do and like it or not it’s a style and people actually feel the need to pay money for this.

  13. Safina

    I think…personally it’s a good idea as it’s not segregating anyone from society. By doing this it’s making people think differently for example the poorer people that can’t afford things, they may not feel so terrible about themselves. On the other hand I wouldn’t purchase these as they aren’t worth the money! Great article by the way summer.

  14. Younes

    I think: Yeah Let’s go!

  15. T

    I wouldn’t buy them :/

  16. Sultana

    This is not a trend but a way to bring equality between people especially amongst the rich and the poor. Poor people are the ones who face a lot of difficulty to afford food so they also have difficulty in buying clothes and shoes. But this style will not only stop people from judging others based on what people wear.

  17. Shauna

    these trainers are absolutely ridiculous!

  18. H

    I think it’s a great idea for people to experience this and know how others feel.

  19. Adele

    Its just sad to see that they consider this trendy when people who are homeless don’t have money to buy new shoes and people hate that but when its considered trendy its alright. Also the fact that it costs over £300 is ridiculous. They should at least dontate that money to people who are in need.

  20. behram khan

    I think thats really a nice idea to turn attention of people towards homeless people and also a good way of buisness

  21. Bish

    I’m pretty surprised by this as I’m part of the sole supplier community and no one has mentioned this. I doubt that it will even be a trend. I know would never buy a pair like that as they look ruined. £300 and can buy you more trainers and some that will easily look better.