These dirty $500 sneakers could be worth billions.
Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP is considering the sale of Golden Goose, the high-end fashion brand it acquired in 2017 that sells sneakers with a star on the side intended to look filthy, Bloomberg reported.
The Italian luxury brand known for sneakers sported by the likes of Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez may fetch more than $1 billion. Carlyle, which has invested in luxury brands such as ski jacket maker Moncler, has reportedly hired Bank of America as financial adviser. Golden Goose, Bank of America Corp and Carlyle didn't immediately return a FOX Business request for comment.
Despite all the high-priced hype, some celebrity fashion stylists refuse to let their clients own a pair.
“If you’re paying me, I’m not letting you buy them. You can look like crap on your own,” New York City-based fashion consultant Amanda Sanders told FOX Business. “They look like dirty sneakers. The people who are age appropriate for the sneaker can’t afford it, and the 30- and 40-year-olds wearing them don’t look like luxury to me.”
The brand has come under fire in the past for a look that critics have said seems to “mock poverty."
Despite the backlash, shoppers with money to blow are spending it on the worn-out footwear. Nordstrom sold out of a $530 pair of Golden Goose that appeared to have mud stains and tape holding them together. The website described the "distressed leather sneakers" as having “crumply, hold-it-all together tape."
Sanders says the quality of the shoes is hardly worth anything close to the price tag.
“It’s not like they’re super comfortable or there’s extra padding in them. There’s nothing special. If I’m spending $700, I want it to look like it.”
There's a market of people who feel differently, enough of one for competing designers to adopt the style: Gucci released a pair of sneakers made to look like they had mud stains for $870, while Steve Madden sold a version of the worn-out athletic shoes for $178.
The best deal may be in the second-hand market. One owner is re-selling a pair for $55 on Poshmark.