Golden Goose and Poor-Baiting: A Necessary Criticism

We are calling for an end to Golden Goose and poor-baiting, make it stop please

Golden Goose and Poor-Baiting: A Necessary Criticism

Golden Goose. This is the “designer” brand that fits most with the idea of “poor-baiting”, selling their shoes at outrageous prices, and when I say outrageous I mean actually insane. The lowest price for a sneaker starts at about $400, and the highest goes beyond about $800 t0 $900; their most expensive shoes costing $1,715 without tax. The brand describes their work as premium Italian quality that is handmade and hand-distressed, made by factory workers that make a “fair, livable wage.” The fact that they wanted to emphasize the fact that their workers make a fair and livable wage is already a bit of a red flag for me personally, and the fact that people fall for this idea of “hand-distressed” shoes as being designer is disappointing. Hand-distressed essentially means that workers put on the shoes or scuff them by hand in order to get that worn and dirty look, and the brand sells that idea by saying that each shoe is “entirely unique”. We are also very much not alone in feeling that this brand is a key part of what we’ve called “poor-baiting,” as in 2018 the company actually had their own scandal on social media where they were accused of poverty appropriation, and clearly this brand and their wealthy consumers saw no faults with their product and have continued on their poor-baiting and appropriation mission

Golden Goose’s average prices, ranging from $495 to $615
The brand’s MOST expensive and ugliest shoes, note the prices in the THOUSANDS

Looking at all the evidence before us, it’s only obvious that a Golden Goose critique has been long overdue. The designs are bad enough, resembling something a 6 year old or Jojo Siwa would wear (no hate to Jojo now though, she’s an icon). All of the shoes, from the higher end prices to the lower end, feature either camouflage details, confusing neon fluff on the outside, or duct tape or dirt marks all over. This shoe is quite literally dirty upon buying it, so you are literally paying to look poor. Still, some people make the choice of their own free will to wear these disgusting shoes. A basic low-top shoe costs about $500, whether you get them from a reseller or directly on their website. So my question is what exactly are you paying for? Clearly not the design, so I guess the quality? Upon researching the matter, we discovered that the outrageous prices are actually attributed to the exact fact of having your shoes personally distressed. So, if you are interested in having some designer shoes feel free to bring me your shoes and for the small price of $500 I can wear them for you and properly scuff them up to your liking! Additionally, at Golden Goose you can buy extra special sneakers with duct tape on them, to really authenticize the old, worn look, for only $795.

An issue that raises both positive and negative reactions has been the increasing rise in the trend of thrifting. With TikToks and influencers getting involved with the trend, there is a worsening amount of resellers. These are people who go to their local thrift stores and Goodwills only to purchase bundles of clothes for the sole purpose of maybe wearing a few items and then reselling the rest of the clothes at a higher price on platforms like Instagram or Depop. By doing this, these resellers are taking away from the people who actually rely on thrift stores as their primary source of clothing, and doing so mainly selfishly for profit. Because of the rise of wealthy consumers that are thrifting, the price of secondhand clothing will now only rise as well, further taking away options for clothing for lower income communities. A way to combat this if you fall under the wealthier side of consumers: shop at vintage or consignment stores which still offer second-hand clothing, and still shop at Goodwill, just less, and NOT reselling clothing for your own profit, as well as making sure to DONATE clothing that you don’t really use in order to cycle out your clothing and not just build up a giant closet filled with clothing you’ll wear once and never again.




Our lovely Goodwills

Urban Outfitters, the brand that so many teenagers would die for, is also a company that seeks to sell a “vintage” look, and produces clothing that tries to mirror clothing that you could easily get for lower and reasonable prices at a Goodwill or any thrift store. In fact, as found in a 2012 article by Business Insider, the company’s “authentically vintage” line of clothing is all clothing that has been found at flea markets and yard sales and then resold for a considerably higher value, aka Urban Outfitters is just another annoying Depop reseller in the form of a multi-million dollar company. Maybe at this you might be saying, “Oh well at least the clothes are actually ‘vintage’’”, well if you take a look at any of their other clothes that are marketed outside of the Urban Renewal vintage collection, you’ll see clothing of low to average quality fabrics, styles similar to trends on the Internet or commonly found in thrift stores, and at exaggeratedly high prices. Yes, maybe they do have a great selection of clothes, (I’m an honest fan of their dresses), but this company has been facing its downfall as it is just determined to follow the poor-baiting trend, whether they know it or not. Just for one example, head to Urban Outfitters where you can buy a faded, seemingly worn t-shirt, with holes and bleach stains, for the small price of $45! This confuses me; if you want to wear a distressed, old shirt then why not just buy a worn shirt with holes from Goodwill for $2 while promoting sustainable fashion.



Strike one for Urban and their distressed band tees
Strike two and for a higher price…

Don’t get me wrong though, I love the look of distressed clothes, but only when it has truly been worn rather than manufactured to appear so. In manufacturing clothes to appear old and charging outrageous prices for them, the whole appeal of worn clothing is taken away. Personally, I like vintage and worn clothes because of the history behind them. I think it’s really cool to go to Goodwill or vintage clothing stores and find a distressed article of clothing where you can think about the possible history of that article of clothing. Additionally, these second-hand clothes can be bought at great, reasonable prices, but it is important to not mass produce and resell, but only take what you need and remember to donate in the future.