$1,850 ‘Destroyed’ Sneakers by Balenciaga Trolled in China

“Is this for real?” questioned many Chinese netizens upon learning how much Balenciaga is charging for its new ‘Paris Sneakers.’ Described by the luxury fashion house as “fully destroyed,” the latest designs look like they’re practically falling apart at their seams. At 12,000 RMB (1,850 USD) per pair, the frayed footwear will also destroy your wallet.

A statement on Balenciaga’s official website explains that its “Paris Sneakers are meant to be worn for a lifetime.”

The collection, which dropped online on May 9, made it to physical retail stores in America on May 16 but is currently unavailable in China.

Even so, a hashtag for the sneakers has gone viral on Weibo and accumulated more than 390 million views.

Which of these four pairs of shoes from Balenciaga’s fully destroyed ‘Paris Sneakers’ collection would you wear? Image via Weibo

Ranging from lighthearted to savage, comments under the hashtag reveal Chinese netizens’ severe distaste for the sneakers.

“Thank goodness my style doesn’t go along with these sneakers,” reads one of the tamer comments.

Enraged by the effrontery of the collection, another netizen sneered, “These sneakers are simultaneously insulting the rich while mocking the poor.”

“I have obsessive-compulsive disorder, and looking at these sneakers makes me want to brush them so bad,” posted a clean freak among the commenters (a legitimate impulse, if you ask us).

This is not the first time Balenciaga has found itself being criticized by Chinese consumers: In 2018, the company was accused of discrimination against Chinese people when a security guard physically subdued a Chinese shopper in Paris. And try as the brand might to appease Chinese fashionistas, its Chinese Valentine collection was accused of insulting Chinese taste in 2020.

Cover image via Twitter

This post was last modified on May 17, 2022 10:41 am

Born and raised in China, Kayla received her BA in Communications and Public Service from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently works as a staff writer at RADII and is passionate about telling stories related to social issues women's empowerment. You can find her exploring coffee shops in Shanghai in her free time or rushing for Duffy and Friends plush toys at Shanghai Disneyland.