The luxury couture brand Gucci has always spawned headlines for selling bizarre clothing. The Italian fashion house went into full damage control mode and announced a “cultural sensitivity” exercise for its staff after a massive backlash over its ‘Blackface’ lip-cut sweaters in 2019. This design prompted an already heated racial debate in the US.
Well, this time, Gucci has stoked controversy again! Grass-Stained Jeans Gucci went on sale for a whopping $1,400 (approximately 1.03 lakh Rupees). The hefty price is not the only uproar in town! According to Gucci, the denim overalls were crafted from ‘organic cotton’ and given the stain for a distressed effect. These dungarees debuted in the Fall Winter 2020 collection in January, and hit the runway as part of a grunge-inspired wardrobe.
Now, these splotchy grass stains, as presumed and validated by viewers probably aren’t real. The Italian luxury brand proudly stated its ‘eco preservation’ intentions by pointing out that the denim was produced through cultivation and manufacturing processes that don’t involve harmful chemicals or artificial fertilizers. This wasn’t good enough to get people on the brand’s side!
This grunge-inspired denim didn’t go down well with the public, and even Gucci fans. While ripped jeans have been autumn trendsetters, the addition of brown faded patches with green impressions has left people divided.
What particularly annoyed the clientele was the exorbitant cost. The brand issued a statement in anticipation of the negative feedback. It said Grass-Stained Jeans Gucci was a new take on the cult fabric. The grass-stained look was a reinterpretation that blurred the line between ‘vintage’ and ‘contemporary’.
Naturally, everyone thought the same look could be replicated at home with real grass from one’s backyard, and that too, at no additional cost. Few treated it as the brand’s attempt at getting rid of its old stock, while others were quite offended that their favorite brand could come up with something so ludicrous and in poor taste.
Public emotions ranged from anger, to humor and wit. Someone pointed out that they would be happy to be paid to get grass on someone’s jeans. Heck, they even said they would do it for free! Someone else pointed out that their kids would be happy to give anyone the Grass-Stained Jeans Gucci look with a football game in their backyard. One Twitter user commented: “If you are thinking about buying these; I’ll sell you a pair of worn-out Liberty overalls for $2,000!”
Some patrons felt that the overalls were generally not that shoddy, but only when one considers the other options Gucci had to offer this season. “Dirty overalls were probably one of the better selling pieces of Gucci's FW20 collection…” Another person commented! Another netizen had a great suggestion for anyone coveting these jeans - “Just get on your knees in the grass, and boom, priceless!” they said.
While the general public wasn’t thrilled with this new fashion statement, critics felt that the brand might have overdone it. Even though Gucci tries to be atypical, the brand might have gone too far this time. Despite its selling point of ‘reusing the leftovers’, ‘no use of fertilizers’ and ‘100% organic cotton’, people were not so taken in with it when confronted with the overall product design and exorbitant cost. Gucci might have been better off with a pair of green-tinged denims or funky cut pants.
Grass-Stained Jeans Gucci were certainly not show stoppers. Nevertheless, the vintage Gucci logo label attracted its loyalists. Those looking to expand their distressed wardrobes might have been better off with wide-leg jeans launched in the UK, and wool sweaters featuring mothball-style, ‘intentional tears’.
Once again, Gucci managed to stir a debate among people, which is what its original intention might have been! It’s a clever marketing gimmick, until it falls flat. Numerous brands have gone down this path, and have been successful. In Gucci’s case, they have such an avid fan-following, that these disasters are minor setbacks that don’t really affect the brand. All is forgotten until the next marketing campaign. Having said this, customers are becoming impatient, and may not put up with such gimmicks for too long.
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