Shoes tips for use
You might not pay £280 for pre-dirtied trainers, yet people are and Golden Goose the Italian brand behind these scuffed and muddied trainers is making a tidy living out of trainers that look like you’ve traipsed through an alternative, dirtier life that is probably more fun and car-less than the reality. Lifestyle appropriation, if you will.
Distressed fashion, a vulture on fashion’s horizon, is not a new practice but it is problematic. Not simply because it mimics a lifestyle, or because it rules out the important rite of passage that results in distressed clothes (getting friends to muddy boxfresh trainers, looking down at that familiar cigarette burn and remembering who burned you), but because they fetishise an alternative lifestyle, one that’s often at odds with the price point. These are expensive trainers that look like their wearer has never taken a cab, to be worn with pre-faded jeans, that suggest your job is less office-based than it probably is, your location less urban, and worse this is presumably the reasoning behind these aesthetic tics.
There are, of course, acceptable exceptions garment factories have been using sandblasters to selectively strip dye from denim to create a unique colour rather than a worn-down look (although sandblasting is a fairly dangerous technique). Equally, in cinema, most recently in Spotlight, costume designers create the pre-worn shirt look by placing a tennis ball in the wash which wears down the fibres.
But then there are the pieces that spin absurd yarns about their wearer: Japanese brand Zoo Jeans’ ripped denim suggests you once handled lions. The Adidas’ 7X750 trainers, made in collaboration with artist Ryan Gander, implies you believe in ‘handcrafted’ mud. Zoltar the Magnificent’s pre burned tees exposed you, an athlete, to actually be a 40-a-day man. In the late 90s, and just as the property boom kicked off, if you wore Helmut Lang’s paint-splattered jeans you led your friends to believe that you have had the money to buy a house and a pair of expensive jeans, but that didn’t quite leave enough capital to get it done up, too.
Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo launched Golden Goose Deluxe Brand’s footwear in 2007 to go alongside their streetwear. Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh all wear them, which, says Abloh, “makes them unique”. The other issue is precisely how distressed your trainers should be (regardless of the brand, white trainers just look better when white), and these versions suggest a solid two months skateboarding is the optimum in distressed-ness. With distressed clothes you can be whatever you want to be without putting the hours in.