NEW YORK — The curious combination of a pair of $425 “mud” jeans from PRPS and former “Dirty Jobs” host Mike Rowe, with an assist from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, somehow pulled Nordstrom Inc. into the “war on work.”
And the Internet loved it.
The Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans from New York-based PRPS sell on nordstrom.com and take the distressed look to a very muddy place and are described on the site as “Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty.”
The style came to the attention of Rowe, who tackled dirty tasks of all kinds on his Discovery show and took umbrage to basically everything about them and posted a relatively brainy treatise on dirty jeans and the state of authenticity and work to Facebook.
“On the positive side, Nordstrom’s isn’t purging their shelves of work-related imagery, like the owners of Monopoly did when they replaced the wheelbarrow [game piece] with a rubber ducky,” Rowe said. “They seem to value icons work. What they don’t value — obviously — is authenticity…. ‘Rugged Americana’ is now synonymous with a ‘caked-on, muddy coating.’ Not real mud. Fake mud. Something to foster the illusion of work. The illusion of effort. Or perhaps, for those who actually buy them, the illusion of sanity.”
Rowe was on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” in the evening and recalled that Carlson had encouraged him to keep an eye out for other social examples of the “war on work.”
By Tuesday, the post was shared more than 12,000 times, garnering 4,200 comments and a related story was the top trending topic on Facebook as it ricocheted around the Fox News network, other news outlets and the social media sphere.
Nordstrom’s been here before, but the heat was hotter.
President Trump blasted Nordstrom on Twitter in February for treating his daughter Ivanka “so unfairly” after the store dropped the brand in what it said was a decision “based on performance.”
Nordstrom did not return a request for comment and a spokeswoman for Donwan Harrell, owner of PRPS, declined to comment.
More from WWD: