Don’t have a Goodwill near you? Can’t afford to independently wear down some white sneakers via walking in them, as one does? Been longing for goose-themed shoes to pair with your unethically manufactured goose-feather jacket? May I present to you the Golden Goose Superstar sneakers.
Stroking your classically Cornellian fetish for advertising your parents’ New English wealth, while also saving you the time and energy your freshman School of Hotel Administration schedule simply cannot accommodate to break into a new pair of white Vans, having your very own GG pair will grant your feet that special sensation of chafing against five-hundred-dollar leather that has been individually hand-scratched and artistically ravaged in a Venetian warehouse. An undoubtedly worthwhile investment, one pair of GGs is all you’ll ever need to satisfy your inexplicable desire for a chestnut brown blemish thoughtfully placed on your rightmost toe by a nice Italian man.
I was wandering the deepest realms of North Campus, shivering and shuffling amid the hoards of other sorry souls as we struggled to recall why we had willingly cut our winter breaks short for this week of sisterhood-searching. Before long, I found myself enveloped in an inferiority complex like no other as I spectated my white Supergas surrounded time and time again by their whiter, classier, Southern European counterpart.
Unable to recognize the baffling East Coast trend with my Californian eyes, I brought up the aggressively average footwear over Appel dinner mid-rush week. To my great amusement, flavored with several touches of irritated disbelief, I was made aware that the countless number of sorority-girls-to-be I had seen scuffling around in their standard white-with-one-silver-star GGs had, in fact, all made the same, highly questionable exchange of half a grand for what is essentially a pair of professionally ruined Adidas Superstars. A mistake that all too many can afford to make among Cornell’s, and especially its Greek System’s, rather socioeconomically unvaried student population, this faulty purchase hardly ever receives its due denunciation. And so here I am, addressing that injustice.
On its elegantly designed website, Golden Goose proudly calls its creators “two young Venetian designers, outsiders until then to the world of fashion.” Once an ardent believer in the roughly meritocratic nature of the global fashion industry, obtusely trusting that Europe’s numerous accomplished fashion designers had found their success in their skillfulness rather than in their Europeanness, I stand at least somewhat corrected. The truth of the matter is that Golden Goose is able to blatantly advertise its masterminds’ utter lack of education and experience in anything fashion, and, key to my argument, to incorporate that shameful proclamation into a pull towards their products. Surely it isn’t the rookie craftsmen’s incompetence itself that appeals so intensely to wealthy white girls from Connecticut. The only other truth to be pulled from that statement is the nationality of the two men and hence the birthplace of the brand, and one only need employ a small dose of analytical thought to discern the real pull here.
The problematic-ness in the severe Eurocentricity of Golden Goose wearers’ taste, as substantial as it is, is rendered not so substantial at all when compared to these GG-wearers’ sponsorship of the company given the following. Attached to the Golden Goose name, and appropriately so, is a years-long notoriety for the company’s trademark appropriation, glamorization, and aestheticization of poverty. From designs integrating highlighter markings on the midsole identical to the ones I would tastefully adorn my Converse with in the second grade, to those that revolve around a piece of silver duct tape appearing to hold the entire shoe together after it has been artistically stomped on and run over by a Fiat, Golden Goose’s innovative creations have maintained its infamous reputation as the pioneer of “homeless chic” (Twitter) since its conception.
If you are among the several GG-donning young people on this campus so eager to showcase their familial wealth that they compromise the appeal of their outfit for the cause, and if you have read this far (an unexpected combination that I applaud and appreciate), your Canada Goose proves your wealth firmly enough. And your shoes are ugly.
by Katriana Galloway
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