Invented and perfected by Levi Strauss in 1873, the modern blue jean has seen its fair share of unnecessary “innovation” over the years, but the latest iteration from Nordstrom could perhaps be the most ridiculous pair of jeans ever created.
For only $425, you could be the owner of a pair of Nordstrom’s “Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans,” the latest fashion sensation. Caked in fake mud and pre-stained, the high-priced jeans have left many scratching their heads and asking “Why?”
Nordstrom’s own description of the product doesn’t make it much better:
Heavily distressed medium-blue denim jeans in a comfortable straight-leg fit embody rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.
The notion that purchasing these jeans that come with mud stains proves that you’re “not afraid to get down and dirty” just didn’t sit well with everyone. Mike Rowe of “Dirty Jobs” fame took to Facebook to discuss the questionable product.
This morning, for your consideration, I offer further proof that our country’s war on work continues to rage in all…
After initially applauding the company for not “purging their shelves of work-related imagery,” Rowe quickly turned to criticizing the product for its lack of “authenticity.” Rowe only got more critical from there, writing:
“Rugged Americana” is now synonymous with a “caked-on, muddy coating.” Not real mud. Fake mud. Something to foster the illusion of work. The illusion of effort. Or perhaps, for those who actually buy them, the illusion of sanity. The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans aren’t pants. They’re not even fashion. They’re a costume for wealthy people who see work as ironic – not iconic.
Of course, this is far from the first questionable pair of jeans ever created. Over the years, many fashion designers have attempted to reinvent the wheel when it comes to the iconic, quintessentially American trousers.
Topshop’s “Window Jeans” were widely mocked in early 2017:
And who could forget the great “Jeggings” trend of 2010:
It is also worth noting that Nordstrom’s ode to the hard-working American is made in Portugal.