Are these sweatpants racist? (There’s a music angle to this)

If you’re into high fashion, you’ll know the name Balenciaga. The company has just released this pair of sweatpants. Take a look before we go any further.

Two things you should know about these sweatpants, which carry the name Trompe L’Oeil. First, they cost US$1,190. That’s not a typo. And second, they’re being called out as racist.

First, no one should spend that kind of money on sweatpants. If you do, then you’ve got way too much money. But racist? How does that work into the equation?

A TikTok post that is closing in on 2 million views says that Balenciaga has committed cultural appropriation by adopting a style of dress that originated in hip-hop culture back in the 90s. Basically, the argument is that this sort of gentrification of Black fashion constitutes a form of racism.


You know when something feels racist 🥲😂 @sxbwxyy I have questions ##fypシ

♬ original sound – Mr200m

Tweets like this are now circulating.

Thoughts? More at the BBC.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37880 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Are these sweatpants racist? (There’s a music angle to this)

  • The thing about that look that I’m most amazed about is how long it’s endured! Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood came out in 1996 and they make fun of that look. There’s a shot of 3 guys and each one’s pants is lower than the last until the last guy’s pants are just around his ankles.

    At some point that look should have went away for 10-15 years and now come back as retro, but it just never left.

    And this is all coming from a guy who just spent his 25th Summer in camouflage shorts and a black t-shirt.


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