Slavery has and never will be “in fashion”.
Unfortunately, Adidas and Beverly Hills designer Jeremy Scott thought so as they recently launched a new slavery themed shoe line – titled the ”JS Roundhouse Mid” sneaker that comes with a set of plastic shackles attached.
The shoe was to come out in August with the tag line:
“Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
Adidas announced Monday night that it has pulled the shoe amid immediate fury from critics who say the shackle sneaker calls up painful images of slavery. On Twitter, the shoes were labeled “Adidas slave shackle kicks” and talk of a boycott arose.
“Our ancestors fought blood, sweat and tears just so fools can turn pain into an accessory?” said one post on the shoe’s Facebook page. Another urged: “these should be taken off the market.”
Via Twitter, another wrote: “any designer that’s nostalgic for slavery will Never have my support.”
Early Monday, an Adidas representative defended the design in a statement to the Los Angeles Times: “The design … is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery.”
By Monday evening, Adidas released the following statement as it pulled the shoe: “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. Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
The shackle design was part of a new quirky line that also features sneakers accented with teddy bears, butterfly wings and belt buckles.