American popular culture often views the college campus as an equalizer – an oasis of man-made bricks freed from the stratification of classrooms across the country, pumping out the best students destined to live off their meritocratic earnings.
This intellectually dishonest image has fabricated some interesting ways around the very real differences that exist on college campuses.
Playing pretend, rich students deliriously complain of imaginary poverty. Many, well aware of their true economic wealth, bemoan their financial destitution before splurging online at COMM conferences, withdrawing pocket money from six-figure bank accounts at the Village Bank of America, or depositing a lot. money to Erewhon.
The forgetful abandonment of their role play by these students serves as my much needed reality check. Sometimes I wonder if I am experiencing a Bostromian simulation playing with poor black women, in particular.
Amid the liars who so conscientiously – and badly – pose as a non-existent version of themselves, a group of individuals brazenly wear a very recognizable badge: Golden Gooses.
I vividly remember the first time I spotted one. Here I was on an elite campus, and my classmates couldn’t even afford new shoes. I even considered starting a shoe drive for residents of the sixth floor of Birnkrant. I soon learned that not only did my classmates wear these shoes on purpose, but that they spent over $ 500 on some of these pairs. I was out of touch with a whole demographic at this school, and not being in people’s business just wasn’t right for me.
I have spoken to several USC students about their opinion on the shoe brand. Qualifications often accompanied admissions of brand loyalty. Those I spoke to assured me that they were not like the other factions of Golden Goose owners – the factions who devotedly bought the most ridiculous designs of the brand, who only bought them. ‘after spending a week on campus, who received Golden Goose from their mother and have no interest in Italian crafts, and so on.
Probably the most significant was the association of Golden Goose shoes with the Greek population.
However, this stereotype has grown bigger than the brand itself. Research indicates that Venetian designers Francesca Rinaldo and Alessandro Gallo USC Kappa Kappa Gamma members did not have in mind when designing their shoes. In order to understand Golden Goose’s appeal, I had to go to its intended fan base.
Eli Kaufman, a junior specializing in economics and a member of the USC streetwear club, had already thought about the shoe’s growing popularity.
“I commented at lunch today that every time I saw someone wearing Golden Geese I wanted to beat them,” Kaufman said. “I just wanted to hit them. I know it’s recorded, but it’s a joke. For legal purposes.
Kaufman discovered the brand in high school and enjoyed connecting with other fashion-interested peers as much as he did. After arriving at USC, the fashion enthusiast was estranged from the brand due to its growing popularity with “standards” – my words, not his.
“I have seen so many people with [the shoe] … It didn’t seem special to me anymore, ”Kaufman said. “So I kept it on for a while, but I kind of wore it less. And then I started to hate it. I had friends who hated it, and I was like ‘You’re right… it’s just a sorority girl shoe. It’s over now.
That was until he started to skate. How many students on this campus identify the Golden Goose as a skate shoe? Well the design has each marking a. If we can ignore some of his most questionable models, the brand’s flat silhouette, slimmer fit, durable sole and sloppy aesthetic are perfectly suited to crush pedestrians in Trousdale.
Much of the brand’s current controversy is about marketing poverty, especially after the company sold a design that had duct tape holding it together. However, I couldn’t help but look at my one-year-old Reeboks and then return to the silver Golden Gooses that adorned Eli’s feet. In his words, the Golden Gooses are supposed to look like “Well distressed. ”
Stylistically, I might not agree with this, but they definitely held up better than my sneakers. No matter how distressed a Golden Goose shoe is, it’s impossible to say how long the owner has worn it, due to the design. For years, I’ve wondered how one fashion company scammed so many rich people into paying for shoddy shoes, and here’s the lucrative difference.
“I went to Tokyo. And while I was there, I visited one of the Golden Goose stores that had just opened, ”Kaufman said. “They have this cool little thing called Golden Goose Lab where you can go in and customize your shoes and add a bunch of designs and designs.”
It is this craftsmanship that offers Golden Goose an audience beyond his sensational hyper-distressed designs, such as Shawn Krantz, who prefers Golden Goose’s cleaner designs.
“First of all, I’ve been wearing them for a while so I usually go [for] designer shoes, ”said Krantz, a junior specializing in business administration. “When I buy shoes, I will wear them for a long time; I will not buy another pair of the same.
This column, for me, was an exercise to deceive me. At their core, Golden Goose carriers are not idiotic children of poverty. They value fashion, crafts, community and, of course, can afford them. As in any group, there will be infiltrators. The stereotypical Golden Goose owner – a wealthy New York-born sorority girl – has become the star child of a brand that was once championed by skaters and still speaks to them with an appreciation for luxury.
As for the high price of the shoe, I realized that the shameless display of wealth is more heartwarming than its rejection. The owners of Golden Goose are certainly not the common man. But on this campus, maybe we need to appreciate the fact that the rich do rich things instead of donning the veil of the “middle class”.
Amina Niasse is a junior writer on stereotypes, archetypes and trends at USC. She is also the A&E Editor-in-Chief of Daily Trojan Horse. His column, “Trojan Psyche”, is published every other Wednesday.