Which would you rather spend $700 on? A plane ticket to go see the World Cup in Brazil, or on a t-shirt that epitomizes all of the excitement that comes from the international spectacle?
Italian fashion designer and current Vice-President of the Versace Group Donatella Versace has created the exorbitantly priced “Versace Loves Brazil” souvenir t-shirt to celebrate 2014’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The shirt supposedly combines all the passions of soccer (or football as the rest of the world calls it) with, as the company puts it, “the vivid iconography of the Versace DNA.”
“A brand new Versace baroque print is created using the colors of a Brazilian carnival, decorated with repeated images footballs and flowers,” reads the rest of the description. “Gold chains and leopard print add luxury, while silhouettes of football players connect the glamour of Versace with the sportsmanship of Brazil. At the heart of the t-shirt is the iconic Medusa head, with a special Versace rock twist.”
Reactions across the web have been–at best–poor, with article headlines ranging from Next Impulse Sports’s “World Cup T-Shirt Is Quite Festive” to Metro’s “Versace releases horror World Cup T-shirt.” Another from the Washington Post bluntly says, “This Versace T-shirt might be the worst World Cup souvenir of all time.”
“Versace can get away with this, because they are Versace. I believe the best souvenir shirt is one that captures the essence of the event, souvenir t-shirts are bought as a reminder of that time,” says Elise Harding of Tee Compressed. “We hold on to them a little longer, even if they fade or get holes in them – we become connected to these shirts that tell a story of our past.”
Perhaps the biggest reason for such backlash isn’t the design, so much as it’s the price. The shirt costs a whopping $690, or £410. For such a price, one might expect that there’s finely spun gold used to stitch the shirt together or even genuine leopard fur used on that part of the shirt’s design, but alas, it’s only 100% cotton.
Maybe Versace will tone down the design and price of their next World Cup souvenir shirt, but until then, there’s only this one.