Fashion connoisseurs took retail icon Nordstrom to the social-media woodshed this week for selling some wacky-looking shoes and jeans — for big bucks — on its usually well-curated website.
Item #1: Gucci "sock sandals," a pair of...well, what exactly? The silhouette looks like a mid-calf bootie but that's not what they're meant to be. They're patent red sandals with a built in leather-and-latex "sock," with sky-high heels and a sky-high price of $1,190.
"Add a little something extra to your look with a streamlined take on the sock-with-sandals trend that highlights glossy finishes and luscious red leather," burbles the website's online patter about the shoes.
Some Twitter users were baffled.
"r u drunk?" tweeted Allie Caron.
"Ummmmm.......what? Is this serious?," tweeted Lindsey Phillips.
Ummmmm.......what? Is this serious? https://t.co/XlNJq1t3cj— Lindsey Phillips (@ElleTrain934) March 17, 2017
It wasn't much better in the comments section on the Nordstrom website. One "buyer," going by the handle FastFeet, went all out with the tongue-in-cheek sarcasm.
"These Sock Sandals SAVED MY LIFE! You see, my feet have agoraphobia and every time I leave the house, if they aren't covered up they writhe in nervous agony. I had to wear socks with my sandals and I was mocked incessantly. Then I found these gems! Now I can wear sandals AND cover my feet from the awful scenes of society. They remain hidden, safe, and none the wiser that they are actually in the midst of the plagues of the outdoors."
Item #2: It didn't help that the Gucci shoes followed similar derision about the $95 Topshop
"I laughed at first when I saw these gems on my Facebook feed — only to find out tonight it's the real deal. Thx for the laugh Nordstoms!," posted MomfromColorado in the comments section.
"We are truly living in the dark time line," tweeted Jed Whitaker.
"Why am I only just seeing these monstrosities? What the hell," tweeted Emma Fish.
Nordstrom spokesperson Kendall Ault said the retailer has offered a wide selection, including unique items shoppers won't find elsewhere. "We realize that taste is subjective, and not every customer will love every product we carry," Ault said in a statement to USA TODAY.
Also, as everyone knows, in retailing any publicity is good publicity.
Case in point: Nordstrom's $85 rock-wrapped-in-leather. "A paperweight? A conversation piece? A piece of art? It's up to you," read the website blurb for the "Medium Leather Wrapped Stone," which also explained that the rock came from Los Angeles.
It went on sale in November 2016 and by December it was sold out after widespread rock-mocking on social-media.
For some, the shoes, the jeans, the rock — it all made sense in a perverse way, so no one should be shocked, tweeted Maddie Ridgway.
Is anyone shocked about these jeans from Nordstrom ?!?! I mean they sold an $85 rock in a bag in December— Maddie Ridgway (@mebemaddie) March 15, 2017
Or just blame capitalism, declared a user named LaGrenouille Rouge.
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