Gucci is charging more than $NZD1200 for a pair of "dirty" shoes.

The luxury fashion brand described the trainers — dubbed the "Screener GG sneaker" — as "vintage" and "old "school", with an "all over distressed effect" on gucci.com.

To call them "distressed" is putting it mildly.

The bizarre 70s-inspired trainers, which are made in Italy, cost $1250 from Gucci's cruise 2019 collection and are worn-in all over the sole and upper.

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Selling the sneakers — complete with intentional scuff marks — for that price has raised eyebrows online, where shoppers just could not get over the cost.

It's not the first time Gucci has courted controversy over a design. The brand was widely criticised last week for selling a knit that was accused of racial overtones.

The $890 black jumper with a high neckline featured a printed pair of red "lips" that some believed was reminiscent of blackface.

The controversial Gucci blackface sweater. Photo / Gucci
The controversial Gucci blackface sweater. Photo / Gucci

In a letter to staff, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele said he took "full accountability" for the unintended racist garment and said the furore caused him the "greatest grief".

Michele wrote that it was not inspired by blackface but by the late Leigh Bowery, a performance artist, club promoter and fashion designer who often used flamboyant face makeup and costumes.

Regardless, Michelle said, he took "full accountability" for the sweater, which was pulled last week amid widespread criticism.

Gucci apologised, saying in a previous statement posted on Twitter that it was committed to diversity and considered it a "fundamental value to be fully upheld, respected and at the forefront of every decision we make."

The balaclava-style sweater that covered the nose above the cut out was ridiculed on social media as insensitive and racist. It has since been pulled from sale.

Gucci also raised eyebrows last September when it sold a pair of bathers that it advised wearers not to actually get wet.

The fashion house confused online shoppers with a $470 one-piece that you can't actually get wet.

Gucci's so-called "sparkling swimsuit" was made of 80 per cent nylon and 20 per cent elastane.

The catch? The sold-out racer-back togs can't "come into contact with chlorine".

"Due to the nature of this particular fabric, this swimsuit should not come into contact with chlorine," a statement on Gucci's website says, in the pricey item's product description.