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.