Photo courtesy of disinfo.com
Adidas recently released a pair of avant-garde sneakers with rubber shackles that close around your ankles. The tagline for the shoes asks, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” But the shoes were promptly taken off the market because of a huge social media backlash on how they are—wait for it—glorifying and/or making light of slavery. Clearly, these shoes are meant to represent the shackles on the feet of the oppressed. The contrite Adidas wrote in a statement: “We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace.”
Seriously, guys? Okay, sure, shackles might be a touchy piece of imagery. But we have to put things in context. I have a crazy hypothesis: They’re just really stupid shoes. They were designed by Jeremy Scott, the guy who unleashed these gems on the world:
Photo courtesy of jeremyscottbyadidasr.com
Photo courtesy of mlkshk.com
Photo courtesy of newclothing.co
Yes, those cheetah-print sneakers have little stuffed tails. Yes, those lace-up wedges have huge leather butterfly wings. And who wouldn’t pay $200 to walk around with their feet impaling creepy plush gorilla heads?
If you consider Scott’s body of work, the shackle shoes just seem like another totally wacky design from this totally wacky designer. I really doubt that they are a racist plot.