13th November 2020

Why we’ve had enough of designer labels profiting from ‘poor’ clothing

We’re used to seeing ripped jeans and worn crop-tops on sale, but some of these fashion trends seem to be taking it a step too far.
Why we’ve had enough of designer labels profiting from ‘poor’ clothing
Photo: Ali Pazana @ Unsplash

We’re no stranger to ripped jeans and distressed crop-tops, but the fashion industry has started taking it a bit too far in their outlandish commodification of worn and old-looking clothing.

Distressed garments that look rough-around-the edges have become a popular trend in recent years, but fashion brands are taking this to extremes with some controversial and ridiculously-priced pieces.

Imagine walking into a job interview hoping to put your best foot forward, only to notice a massive ladder in your tights. Disaster, right? Well not anymore, as apparently this is now the height of fashion according to Gucci’s £145 price tag.

In what has become this month’s most scandalous and viral fashion find, Gucci are selling a pair of ‘distressed’ tights with rips and ladders for £145. And if that wasn’t enough to make your jaw drop to the floor, they are currently sold out.

Gucci ripped tights
Photo: Diet Prada @ Instagram

When tearing a pair of tights is an accidental and embarrassing look, and to buy them intact is only a few pounds, it’s easy to understand why people were outraged by this. Many people took to the internet to complain about this blatant commodification of poverty and wardrobe malfunctions, especially given the extortionate price.

With the prominence of social media in dictating fashion trends and the advertising opportunities that it presents, we have to wonder whether Gucci were genuinely trying to create an iconic trend or simply wanted to make a viral post that they knew would outrage people.

This isn’t the first time that Gucci have been under fire for an absurd item that appears to profit off ‘poor culture’. Their ‘Screener’ trainers, which retail at £615, are designed to look scruffy and dirty when fresh out of the box.

Many people were quick to criticise the extortionate price for an item you could easily recreate at home and felt as though the brand were unfairly profiting from a look that people in poverty may struggle to avoid.

Gucci aren’t the only fashion house participating in this wild yet controversial trend – various brands are selling ‘moth-bitten’ t-shirts with holes and tears, and PRPS even went as far as selling the ‘Barracuda’ jeans that are made to look caked in mud stains.

This worn, unkempt look has also made its way into makeup, with models such as Bella Hadid sporting smudged, slept-in black eyeliner and mascara for Milan Fashion Week back in February.

For some, fashion is all about expression, whereas others believe it should be used to put your best foot forward. Whichever side of the debate you sit in, it doesn’t quite feel right that these fashion brands are commercialising poverty in their designs.

Daisy Bradbury

Daisy Bradbury

Fashion Editor

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