I don't run in rich and important circles, but this kind of thing strikes me as the sort of idea that people out-of-power have about how people-in-power work.
I suppose to your analogy, I can't imagine ever networking with someone, and then leaving with the idea "well, he had on MMM GATs, so he's definitely someone I need to take seriously."
1. Ahem, am offended. I have a very influential blog. People care.
2. Hate the term "networking". There must be an alternative.
3. Would you think the opposite if the guy was wearing Aldos? Or is he just being normcore. And would that be bad?