Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is This A Slave To Fashion or A Fashion Crime?

I am not a fashionista. I mean, I love watching Fashion Police, and I love trashing celebs with bad taste on the red carpet, but, personally, I am not a Label Queen. I like no-name clothes and, in fact, the only label you'll find in my wardrobe is Levis, and it's always been that way, so, imagine my horror at these new "shackle sneakers" from Adidas.
Many are saying the shoes glamorize slavery, and Adidas is under fire for their new JS Roundhouse Mids. Some people are comparing them to the devices worn by black slaves in 19th Century America, while I also see a little chain-gang action in there. And neither of those things says Good Fashion to me.
And, well, this is the tagline, uploaded to Facebook earlier this month: 'Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?' 
More than 2,000 Facebookers have labeled the design 'offensive' and 'ignorant' and say the firm has 'sunk to new lows' in its 'slavewear' product. Dr Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World, said: 'Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable."
And let's not even start talking about how they are just plain ugly.
Adidas, for their part, has released a statement:
"The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted ... Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful."
If it looks like shackles then it its shackles. And shackles remind folks of slaves and/or criminals, and they aren't a very effective way to market a ridiculously ugly and offensive pair of shoes.

via JMG

8 comments:

the dogs mother said...

Two thoughts when I first saw these - brought up seeing defendants in criminal court and always sweating with the plastic around your ankles and soaking your socks. Edgy it ain't.

R.J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.J. said...

Now we know ADIDAS stands for All Day I Dream About Slavery. This has got to be one of the worst and most offensive marketing ideas ever

Mark in DE said...

My 1st thought was "those are hideously ugly". My 2nd thought was "these are for colorful criminals on the chain gang". My 3rd thought was "hey, these sort of remind me of slavery".

None of those thoughts were good.

David said...

Like many, I was sort of surprised that someone, let alone a designer, thought this was "quirky and lighthearted." No one, not the designer or Adidas, for a moment thought this was going to be offensive? I don't buy that for a second.

What was hoped was that suburban middle-class white boys who think they're thugs would find them cool. And that no one would notice until later.

What CEO's of major corporations are learning (or catching up, maybe) is that American's cannot be lead like lambs to the slaughter anymore. Social media has awoken the silent voice that has been stamped down by large company's who only pray to one thing, Wall Street.

And legal can craft some duplicitous press release like this and make lite of what is an obvious offensive product all they want. Adidas allowed, and was going to mass produce, a shoe that is clearly offensive to a lot of people.

Except, of course, to the old white douche dude CEO of a major shoe company.

Wonder Man said...

no, no, no

Biki said...

oh, my god NO NO NO!!!

these are wrong on so many fronts.

Frank said...

Silly me. With some sneakers selling for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, I thought it was to prevent someone from stealing the footwear right off the wearer's feet.