Gucci and Adidas are going viral in China for all the wrong reasons.
The two brands are facing backlash on Chinese social media platform Weibo for selling a leaky “sun umbrella” that offers no protection against rain.
The umbrella, which has been designed as part of a joint collection between the two brands, is set to go on sale on June 7, 2022. Gucci says the parasol is “not waterproof” and is meant for “sun protection or decorative use.”
A hashtag on the social media platform that translates to “the collaboration umbrella being sold for 11,100 yuan is not waterproof,” has so far garnered more than 140 million views and is facing swift criticism from users, the BBC reported.
One Weibo user reportedly called the umbrella “a very big but useless fashion statement.”
“As long as I’m poor, they won’t be able to trick me into paying for this,” another user said.
That said, other users seem to appreciate the utility of the controversial umbrella. “Those who are willing to pay use luxury goods to show what they are worth,” one of the users said. “They don’t care about practicality.”
That is just the segment Gucci and Adidas are seeking to capture. In addition, Gucci noted that the umbrella is good for daily use as an accessory and has good collector’s value.
China today represents a key market for Western brands such as Gucci and Adidas. According to Bain, the country is on track to become the largest luxury goods market by 2026.