Designer Jeremy Scott created a shoe for Nike that was debuted last January on their Facebook page–a regular pair of sneakers with a shackle attached. In an effort to be edgy they failed to recognize that the use of “shackles” harkens back to a time when people were, you know, shackled and enslaved. Is this what hipster racism looks like in the corporate context? Was this supposed to be ironic?
The purple and orange sneakers come with a set of plastic “shackles” that strap around the ankles. ”Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” the company asked in the Facebook post. The post was “liked” by more than 36,000 people by Monday morning and had received more than 2,000 comments — but the reaction was mainly negative.
“These shoes are the WORST idea EVER! Really, we’re supposed to voluntarily buy shackles now?!” wrote one commenter.
“Who ever wears this is openly saying they are a slave,” said another.
Well, Adidas decided to take heed and canceled the shoe,
The adidas JS Roundhouse Mid, bagged Monday after burgeoning online criticism that its ankle shackles smacked of slavery, was the just latest example of sneaker gaffes. (Adidas, in a statement, said “we apologize if people are offended by the design.”)
I am more concerned by the judgement on the production team to let this product make it so far–I mean, what else could a shackle refer to? Seriously.