Balenciaga's newest Fall 2021 release has sparked an important conversation about appropriation that has taken social media by storm.
The label's Trompe-L'Oiel sweatpants, retailing for $1,190, are built with stylized sagging in mind, complete with built-in boxer material at the top to ensure explicit below the waist iconography.
It wasn't long before users on TikTok caught wind of Balenciaga's latest design and the ecommerce image of the pants, which are seen hanging on a store rack, began circulating on social media with many commenting on what they call "the gentrification of sagging."
Users were quick to note that for years Black men have not only been vilified for sagging their pants, but also directly targeted and discriminated against because of this style choice. In Shreveport, Louisiana, a police officer shot 31-year-old Anthony Childs while attempting to detain him for breaking a "saggy pants ban" that was enforced in various cities nationwide up until 2019.
While Balenciaga has yet to comment, see the some of discourse unfolding on Twitter, below:
They've gentrified sagging...
Your designers #Balenciaga pic.twitter.com/Uigwzv1UZ1
— Samsmith liked my Tweet (@marchell_J7) September 7, 2021
Black men being discriminated against and devalued for sagging pants and Balenciaga is profiting off the style. Crazy how it's ghetto until they put a price on it pic.twitter.com/ujjFkHfYnt
— HighestPriestess🧖🏾♀️💫🌻 (@loveKase24) September 7, 2021
no way balenciaga gentrified sagging pants 😂 pic.twitter.com/VuEE7s789o
— ً (@79nxd) September 9, 2021
White people have criminalized Black people and specifically Black Americans where sagging is from and now these weirdos are profiting from it. This is evil. Truly. Just anti-Black and ku klux clown vibes from Balenciaga right here. https://t.co/jsLciLw67l
— Jason (Moderna Gay. One Piece stan) (@EscaflowneClown) September 6, 2021
Why did balenciaga repackage sagging and is marketing it as High fashion? Black men being vilified + prison culture being marketed towards rich white people as avant garde ? Alright pic.twitter.com/ocLxpzL2eK
— heyvinyls(*´∀`) (@heyvinylss) September 7, 2021
They criminalized black men sagging.
Now #Balenciaga is selling sagging sweatpants for $1,100.
Let's not even bring up weed. 🌱 https://t.co/OaSEg36SDn
— 🖤Kelly🖤 (@KellyChavers) September 8, 2021
Balenciaga has the audacity to sell this ghetto bullshit for $1,200. Sagging sweatpants where the underwear can be seen. Culturally an insult and now they're trying to make a profit . pic.twitter.com/9cKzwICaq3
— Robert S (@worf1972) September 5, 2021
Black culture is commodified, imitated critiqued and disrespected then sold back to the people that do it
— That girl. (@_jasminwats) September 5, 2021
The way respectability politics has been used against us time and time again we get shamed and they make money off of our styles.. I'm sick of it.
— Bobby (@BobbyKingDeal) September 6, 2021
Photo via Twitter
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