Meet The Luxury Brand That's Producing Its $1,000 Sneakers In China

Is this everything that's wrong with today's luxury market?

What does a quality garment mean to you? If it’s the idea of getting what you pay for, then you’re in for a rude shock.

Does a premium price still represent a premium build?

Balenciaga’s infamous ‘dad sneaker’, officially known as the Triple S, has been a hit amongst the fashion elite over the past year. It’s made appearances at fashion show runways and graced celebrity feet alike, often selling out as soon as it restocks. But now the luxury fashion house is facing fresh criticism for a controversial move which has seen the shoe’s production relocating from Italy to China.

The country of origin was confirmed by a Reddit user who purchased a pair of the AU$1,042 sneaker, only to find that it wore a tongue tag with the familiar ‘Made in China’ label instead of the ‘Made in Italy’ one.

The user proceeded to clarify this via Balenciaga’s customer service who stated that, “The Triple S were initially made in Italy but the manufacturer of the shoe was moved to China where they have a savoir-faire and capacities to produce a lighter shoe.”

Regardless of this move to a cheaper production facility, the Triple S still retails for AU$1,042.

Balenciaga’s not the only brand to do this, but it is still a questionable tactic since the change was not explicitly disclosed or announced to customers by the high fashion label.

This also touches on the fact that the “Made in Italy” tag often comes with its own connotations of fine craftsmanship which customers will pay for regardless of the product’s final quality.

Naturally, netizens are outraged and calling for the shoe to now be priced accordingly – a.k.a, cheaper. Here’s what some are saying on popular streetwear sites and Reddit.

Balenciaga Triple S Manufacturer Switched to China from r/streetwear

Another user on Hypebeast commented: “if they wanted to ‘produce a lighter shoe’ maybe they shouldn’t have stuck three fucking soles on it.”

This begs the question of everything that’s wrong with the current crop of premium fashion labels. Popular Canadian outerwear brand Arc’teryx currently retail their basic shelled jackets for well over $1,000 and these are all made in China items.

Given that basic made to measure suits can roughly cost the same price today and come from the same country, one needs to wonder how much work actually goes into making these high-end garments that people are willing to pay a big price for.