China’s web users are criticizing a trend that’s been popping up again on runways and in fashion magazines this past year—a plaid pattern that strikingly resembles the oversized canvas totes often associated with China’s migrant workers, who use the durable bags to lug their belongings between home and work during the holidays.
According to Jing Daily:
In 2013, both Céline and Stella McCartney created looks with a specific red, white, and blue tartan that appears on specific large, shiny bags that cost about $3 in China. Because they are so inexpensive and durable, the totes serve as a convenient form of luggage for poor migrant workers making the arduous holiday train journey between their work and home.
The pattern ended up becoming a major trend for the year as it was spotted on magazine editors and celebrities like Kate Upton, filtered to fast-fashion giants like Zara, and was featured on numerous fashion blogs. […]
Chinese fashion blog Fashion Moon posted a street-style “migrant-worker plaid” slideshow on Sina Weibo, stating, “The red, white, and blue plaid bags borrowed by the by the working masses haven’t retreated from the fashion arena, and are bound to draw criticism every time they’re promoted.” Poking fun at the origins of the style, it states, “These trendsetters on the street are having fun with ‘The Celestial Empire’s [China’s] Chinese New Year travel style.’”
Netizens who commented on the slideshow were generally unimpressed with the clothing incorporating the distinct plaid pattern, calling the trend “really ugly” and “commonplace”.
The patterned trend has made previous appearances in the fashion circuit. In 2006 we reported that Louis Vuitton sent actual imitations of the canvas bag down the runway as a chic accessory, which netizens still mock to this day.
Observant web users likewise scrutinized Prada last year when the brand began selling a blue polo resembling an ordinary uniform worn by a Shenzhen middle schooler.
Netizens can be crueler than Heidi Klum herself. AUF WIEDERSEHEN!
[Images via Weibo]