Balenciaga’s $1,190 sagging sweatpants slammed as racist

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A pair of $1,190 sweatpants from tony fashion house Balenciaga are being slammed on social media as racist and a prime example of cultural appropriation.

The “Trompe-L’Oeil” sweatpants come with built-in boxer shorts that are designed to peak out above the waistband — mimicking the style popularized in hip hop culture.

“This feels racist. This feels very racist, guys” TikTok user @mr200m__, real name Josiah Hyacinth, said, as another off-screen voice replies: “It is.”

Hyacinth is seen probing the trousers, which were displayed at UK-based high-end department store Selfridges.

“They have woven these boxers inside the trousers,” Hyacinth continued. The video, which has been viewed over 1.6 million times, is captioned: “You know when something feels racist @Balenciaga I have questions.”

“They’ve gentrified sagging,” user @6aptiste responded in one of over 3,300 comments on the video.

Balenciaga's new Trompe-L'Oeil pants that have been accused of cultural appropriation.
Balenciaga’s new Trompe-L’Oeil pants that have been accused of cultural appropriation.
Twitter

Marquita Gammage, an associate professor of Africana Studies at California State University, Northridge, told CNN she was disturbed by the pants and views it as “Black culture with the hopes of securing major profits.”

Gammage, who is the author of “Cultural Appropriation as ‘Agency Reduction”’ added that the style has “been used to criminalize Blacks, especially Black males as thugs and a threat to American society.”

“Balenciaga men’s Trompe-L’Oeil sweatpants in red triggers immediate concern given the grotesque similarity to the iconic African American hip hop aesthetic worn by Black Americans for decades that has resulted in the imprisonment and death of Black men,” Gammage said in an email to CNN.

“The trousers have commercial cultural appropriation written all over them; branded with the name Balenciaga.”

Gammage’s remarks are an apparent reference to a handful of laws in several states across the US south that target Black people for wearing sagging pants below the belt, such as the anti-sagging pants law passed in Louisiana in 2007 and only abolished in 2019.

Of all arrests made under that law, 96 percent were of Black men, according to the Shreveport Times, citing data from the local police department.

Ludivine Pont, chief marketing officer for Balenciaga, said in a statement to CNN, “In many of our collections, we combine different wardrobe pieces into a single garment, such as denim jeans layered over tracksuit pants, cargo shorts merged with jeans and button-up shirts layered over t-shirts.”

“These Trompe L’Oeil trousers were an extension of that vision,” she added.

Representatives for Balenciaga and parent company Kering did not return The Post’s request for comment.

And the pants are not the only item catching the ire of social media watchdogs.

Many called out Balenciaga’s $2,090 “Barbes East-West Shopper Bag” for resembling a bag design that originated in West Africa.

“As Africans you can’t convince us that this is Balenciaga, we know what it is lol,” user @SithaleKgaogelo tweeted.





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