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.
I don't want history to judge me harshly for not saying anything at this pivotal moment. So here it is: I am definitely pro cargo shorts.— Joe Donatelli (@joedonatelli) August 4, 2016
You don't understand us. The comfort! The draw string! The pockets! The draw string! We can pretend we're not fat. https://t.co/SbaXwvce48— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) August 3, 2016
From perosnal experience, everyone ribs the guy wearing cargo shorts until they want to sneak candy into a movie.— Kellan Keesler (@KillianKeeblah) August 4, 2016
Disturbing stat of the day: "Retailers sell more than $700 million worth of cargo shorts every year in the U.S." https://t.co/Pvd8xUBgpg— Dana Mattioli (@DanaMattioli) August 1, 2016
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.”
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:
Finally Harden makes a basketball shoe for me, a waiter at Chili's. pic.twitter.com/Etw6Ihl0bQ— Jordan Pryor (@jordodale) August 24, 2016
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:
Just got back from our year-end R&D meeting. Don't want to *foil* anyone's plans, but I sense some big things for Q1 in 2017. pic.twitter.com/QdtJIVYvMC— NordstromRock (@NordstromRock) December 7, 2016
Reasons why the #NordstromRock is the best holiday gift:— NordstromRock (@NordstromRock) December 7, 2016
1. Never goes bad
2. TSA Approved for carry-on (take that Galaxy 7)
3. Only $85
British Friends are like...— NordstromRock (@NordstromRock) December 7, 2016
Weight: 12 Stone
Annual Income: 540 NordstromRocks
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:
Supreme put up a brick for $30 and it sold out in minutes... pic.twitter.com/068VZDG8dD— Griffin ⛵️ (@ACEGRIFF) September 29, 2016
hate your ex? but still respect him? throw a supreme brick at his window bc he can jus sell the brick to replace his window— SHREYA (@_yungshrey) September 29, 2016
I’m way to old to understand the Supreme brick thing. Like are they paper weights or just decretive artifacts? V confused. pic.twitter.com/7PjKRQgB6j— Anthony Bartoloni (@YoAnty1) September 29, 2016
Brick sold out... Now I know why pic.twitter.com/iOW0JXuMc2— Dan Cunningham (@Cunn1Dan) September 29, 2016