Fashion house in backlash over ‘racist’ $1,190 sweatpants

High end fashion label Balenciaga is facing a backlash, after critics said that a $1,190 (£860) pair of sweatpants it sells rips off black culture.

The Trompe L’Oeil pants feature a built-in pair of boxer shorts peeking out from the waistband, mimicking a style popularised by hip hop musicians.

A TikTok post which called the pants racist was viewed 1.6m times and black culture experts have raised concerns.

Balenciaga said it often combined wardrobe pieces into a single garment.

Examples include “jeans layered over tracksuit pants [and] button-up shirts layered over t-shirts”, said chief marketing officer Ludivine Pont.

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

The trend of wearing “sagging” pants, which allow your boxer shorts to be exposed, was popularised by skaters and hip hop artists in the 1990s.

However, during the 2000s some US states passed laws banning the practice, which critics say unfairly discriminated against black people.

Some have since been repealed, such as an order in Shreveport, Louisiana, which turned local law enforcement into “fashion police who used saggy pants as a pretext to target, search, and imprison black people”,according to the American Civil Liberties Union.  

BBC

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