Shoes have been in the news a lot lately, and not just the fashion news. Which is great for me because I get to pretend I’m dedicated to being a well-informed, educated citizen while really just indulging my passion for shoes.
A number of news outlets reported on the brouhaha over the Adidas JS Roundhouse Mid sneakers. I’ve heard of being a slave to fashion, which for me usually means a pair of too-narrow, towering but stunning stilletos, but Adidas apparently decided to take the phrase literally and planned to market sneakers featuring a a rubber orange ankle shackle attached to the shoes by a plastic chain.
Shockingly, the sneakers’ design raised a public outcry. Numerous critics, including Reverend Jesse Jackson, decried as shameful the marketing of a product glorifying a symbol of African American slavery. Shoe designer Jeremy Scott insisted the shoes were a reference to a favorite childhood toy of his called My Pet Monster, who sported orange plastic wrist chains (which strikes me as a really weird thing to give a child as a toy, but whatevs). In any event, Adidas responded to the PR fiasco by canceling the shoe.
I’ve seen some leather and chain ankle cuff shoes that arguably evoke shackles, but at least they require a leap of imagination. The Roundhouse Mid looks like a crazy Halloween cartoon shoe gone nightmarishly wrong — and not in a fuzzy, pet monster way. So, what’s your thought? Offensive, insensitive exploitation of slavery? Just ugly? Amusingly ironic and fun?
If you can break free, tune in next week for some Shoes in the News closer to my own intellectual-property loving, shoe-obsessed heart: Christian Louboutin’s ongoing efforts to protect that luscious, iconic red sole (soul?) of his.
- Adidas Cancels ‘Shackle’ Shoe That Critics Say Evokes Slavery (abcnews.go.com)
- Adidas Pulls ‘Outrageous’ Shackle Shoes [Omg Shoes] (gawker.com)