Adidas Shackle Shoe Debacle
Looks like ADIDAS kinda sorta blew it. June 14th, some happy go-lucky social media coordinator posted a picture of the newest sneakers to join the line. A photo of the sneakers, The JS Roundhouse Mids, was posted with the caption, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” What happened next was kind of like watching a car wreck in slow motion. Adidas fans were appalled at the shoe design, claiming it was racist and inappropriate. Some standout responses to the shoe:
“Wow obviously there was no one of color in the room when the marketing/product team ok’d this,” -MsRodwell of Nice Kicks
“I literally froze up when I saw a new design from Adidas set to hit stores in August,” -Dr. Boyce Watkins
“The attempt to commercialize and make popular more than 200 years of human degradation, where blacks were considered three-fifths human by our Constitution is offensive, appalling and insensitive,” -Rev. Jesse Jackson (yeah, THAT Rev. Jesse Jackson)
It seemed easy enough to deal with at first… Adidas simply released a statement Monday evening explaining that the designer, Jeremy Scott, meant no harm. The Adidas statement reads, in part: “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.”
By that evening, Adidas was knee-deep in a public relations nightmare–obviously people were NOT happy that they defended the design–and announced they were pulling the shoe, and it would no longer be a part of their sneaker line. The sneakers were originally slated to be released in August, according to the Adidas Originals Facebook page.
Jeremy Scott was mortified to hear that he was being deemed a racist, and immediately took to the Blogosphere to explain himself. Scott explained that he has always been inspired by cartoons, toys, and his childhood. He then explained that the shackle shoes were inspired by the 90s cartoon/toy My Pet Monster. Ah! I remember those!!
Okay. I understand the racial undertones are a HUGE concern, and rightfully so, but at the end of the day, I really just see an UGLY shoe. Yeah, I said it. I think it’s ugly. I adore Jeremy Scott, I do, but this was just so off the mark in my opinion. I don’t think Adidas really thought everything through on this design, and if anything were just entertained at the idea of having a sneaker on the market that boasted coverage on more than just one’s foot. It sucks that they had to piss everybody off, especially on such a touchy subject, but at least we can all rest easy knowing that the god awful creations wont be making a cameo this August after all.