Gucci Sells Dirty-Looking Sneakers

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. distressed / dɪˈstrɛst / (adj) – made to appear to be in bad condition

    It is inappropriate to wear distressed jeans to work.

  2. a nod to (something) / ə nɑːd tə / (idiom) – a gesture of recognition of something

    The model’s outfit was a nod to the ‘50s fashion.

  3. call (someone/something) out / kɑːl aʊt / (phrasal) – to publicly criticize someone for doing something bad

    The public called the company out for not having proper waste disposal.

  4. mock / mɑːk / (v) – to make fun of someone or something

    During the competition, one of the participants mocked his competitor’s design.

  5. ridiculous / rəˈdɪkjələs / (adj) – not reasonable

    I think it is ridiculous to stay at a hotel that charges $30,000 a night.


Read the text below.

Luxury fashion brand Gucci has released a line of distressed sneakers.

The new shoes, known as the “Screener,” were named after a defensive sports move. Gucci initially launched the “Screener” shoes as part of its vintage sportswear-inspired Cruise 2019 collection. The brand later released new designs of the sneaker line for its Spring Summer 2019 collection.

The shoes in both collections feature the same distressed effect. The brand explained that the design was a nod to the ‘70s classic trainers.

The Screener shoes come in a variety of designs for men and women. The men’s collection includes three versions that retail at $870 each. For the women’s collection, there are two colors available that sell for $870 and $980. The shoes’ most expensive version, which was released in the Spring Summer 2019 collection, has a crystal chain on top and sells for $1,590. All versions feature Gucci’s trademark red and green stripes, as well as the brand’s vintage logo.

Although the shoes appear dirty, they require proper care and maintenance. The Gucci website provides specific instructions on how the shoes should be cleaned and stored.

Despite the publicity, the “Screener” shoes were not well-received on social media. Some people have called Gucci out for the shoes’ design, accusing the brand of commercializing poverty. One social media user expressed disappointment because she knows that people will still end up buying the shoes.

Others also mocked the brand and found the shoes’ price ridiculous. One person commented that it would be better to use the $870 to help underprivileged people instead of spending it on shoes that are not worth the price.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you agree with the criticisms about Gucci’s “Screener” shoes? Why or why not?
• How do you think Gucci should address the criticisms about the shoes? Discuss.

Discussion B

• Would you be willing to spend a huge amount of money for an item sold by a well-known brand? Why or why not?
• Why do you think some people tend to buy branded items? Discuss.