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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Students draw the line on what they will spend to be ‘trendy’


Golden Goose sneakers are ruffling some feathers with a price tag of at least $460 but with the look of a thrift store shoe.

The price of Golden Goose sneakers range from $460 to $1,700, depending on the style and material of the shoe. The sneakers are made of authentic Italian leather that is purposefully distressed with scuff marks. The most expensive pair is embossed with ostrich feathers, and the shoe laces alone sell for $70. 

“It appropriates or fetishizes poverty, which is messed up,” said Mackenzie Allen ’23, a fashion Instagram blogger @dressupwithkenz. “It is like treating people who can’t afford new shoes as a trend.”

The sneakers are expensive in part because each pair of shoes is made by hand in Venice, Italy, where Golden Goose is headquartered. 

The cost of Golden Goose sneakers are comparable to brands like Tory Burch and Valentino. The difference between those brands and Golden Goose, though, is that Golden Goose sneakers are made to look worn-in and dirty. This “dirty shoe” trend has also been adapted by brands like Gucci and Balenciaga. 

Kevin Hoban ’24 keeps up with classic trends in fashion but said he will not be wearing Golden Goose sneakers.

“I don’t like the dirty shoe trend in general,” Hoban said. “If I’m paying $500 for a pair of shoes, they are going to look new.”

Allen does not own a pair of Golden Goose sneakers because she does not buy items made with animal products. While the leather is a deterrent, so is the price. 

“They’re priced in a way that is only directed to a certain socioeconomic group that can afford them,” Allen said.

College campuses like the University of Southern California have noticed a spike in students wearing these shoes, according to Business Insider, and are another symbol of the “wealth gap” among college students.

Allen said these shoes are targeted towards “young, rich, white women.” Golden Goose has a male shoe collection, but it is small compared to the number of styles and choices offered for women.

“They are coined as a ‘frat party shoe’ because of the look,” said Kella Pacifico ’21, who runs the fashion Instagram @styledbykellaa

Pacifico said her problem with Golden Goose sneakers is both the price and the lack of versatility in the shoe.  

“If I am going to purchase a pair of shoes for $750, I want a pair of shoes that will hold up,” Pacifico said. “They’re not versatile.”

So far, flocks of Golden Goose sneakers seem to have avoided St. Joe’s campus. And there’s a chance they may never migrate here. 

“It is a trend,” Allen said. “But like all trends, this look will phase out.”

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