Retail Therapy: The 5 most ridiculous moments of 2016

In a year that encompassed everything from Kanye West’s failed fashion shows to Ken Bone’s revival of the classic American dad sweater, there has been no shortage of oddities.

It’s Friday, and Retail Therapy is back to bring you its completely subjective countdown of the five most ridiculous retail moments of 2016.

In a year that encompassed everything from Kanye West’s failed fashion shows to Ken Bone’s revival of the classic American dad sweater, there has certainly been no shortage of oddities to keep the laughs going.

Before you pack your ski socks and sign off for the holidays, take a look back at the best worst moments of 2016 for one last Retail Therapy chuckle before the new year, in ascending order of absurdity.

5: The great cargo shorts debate seizes the internet

Back in August, all hell broke loose when The Wall Street Journal stated the obvious: Cargo shorts are ugly.

Cargo shorts aficionados and critics alike brewed quite the Twitterstorm as they battled over the large-pocketed, dorky Nineties fad. This maelstrom bizarrely divided an industry that generally promotes up-to-date trends — and cargo shorts certainly do not belong in this decade.

4: Orange you impressed by Cheetos' luxury apparel?

Cheetos, the dependable gas station junk food brand, rocked the industry with the launch of its haute couture fashion line, complete with “colour de Cheetos” bronzer and “cheeteau perfume” (the latter “crafted from hand-extracted cheese oils taken from only the rarest Cheetos and carefully mixed by hitting the blender’s ON button”).

This is no joke (well, maybe the descriptions are). The Frito Lay snack brand mounted a runway show in November and within a week over half of the Cheetos merchandise sold out, including the $20,000 “eye of the cheetah” jewelry and $59.99 “flaming hot pants.”

More than half of Cheetos' luxury products sold out within a week.
 

3: James Harden's signature sneakers foul out on social media

The internet said a hard 'No' this summer to NBA star James Harden’s signature Adidas sneaker — which from where we're sitting looks better suited for the cable guy than a world-famous basketball great armed with a four-year, $118 million contract extension with the Houston Rockets.

People were quick to mock designs of the shoe leaked online, offering up sarcastic praise of footwear that may actually be better suited for professions other than "hoops icon." Some of the best reactions:

2: Nordstrom's $85 rocks are a stone-cold hit

Coming in second place for the most ludicrous moment in retail is Nordstrom’s bewildering revival of the Pet Rock. The short-lived Seventies fad made quite the comeback in 2016, selling out at $85 a pop just before the holidays.

“A paperweight? A conversation piece? A work of art? It's up to you,” reads the description of the ombre leather-wrapped rock, created by leather products company Made Solid. Add to that list "an easy-to-care-for pet" or maybe even "hottest holiday item of the year" (aside from the creepy-yet-cute Hatchanimals). The rock has apparently been one of the most consistently popular items sold by Made Solid, according to a representative of the startup, who confirmed that these products are no joke, despite obvious doubts.

Superfans went as far as to make the rock a personal Twitter account: @Nordstromrock. Here's a quick look into its social media life:

And finally, we arrive at the No. 1 most ridiculous moment in retail in 2016... Drumroll, please.

1: Why Supreme's $30 bricks are all the rage

Skateboard brand Supreme made a fortune selling bricks.

Yep, that’s right — Supreme-branded bricks marketed as “fall accessories.” And people bought them. A lot of them.

The clay brick comes engraved with the Supreme logo and originally retailed for $30. But once it sold out, die-hard fans turned to eBay to shell out anywhere between $225 and $1,000 to get their hands on the prized slabs, proving that if a brand is strong enough, people will literally buy anything it sells.

Fans and critics alike took to Twitter to offer their takes on the breakout brick:

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Filed Under: Consumer Trends
Top image credit: Screenshot