Adidas tried to add a little something to its sneakers, but as it turned out the new shoes sparked controversy as many saw in them a symbol of racism and slavery. But the new Adidas shackle sneakers should be banned simply for being appalling and out of fashion, and not only for being considered racist.
These days controversial fashion draws in a lot of attention and can really spice up the revenue report. But when the targeted audience draws the line and simply rejects what was thought to be an inventive design, such negative feedback can easily hurt sales and even the image of a company as big as Adidas.
The sports apparel was highly criticized over its new orange shackle sneakers. Adidas tried to advertise the new sneakers on Facebook, but fans reacted promptly and forced the company to drop plans. The faulty sneakers were set to hit the markets later this summer under the brand name JS Roundhouse Mids. The company’s selling pitch on Facebook reads: “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
But fans slammed the company so bad Adidas found itself trying to manage a calamity. People saw more in Adidas orange shackle sneakers and hit the company with charges of racism and slavery. On nicekiks.com, an user writes: “Wow obviously there was no one of color in the room when the marketing/product team ok’d this”.
Jesse Jackson said: “”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”.
“Slavery isn’t a fashion example” said Antonio Leche, while Kay Tee said the new products were offensive, inappropriate and ugly in so many ways. It didn’t take long before users soon started to threaten they won’t buy Adidas anymore over their new shackle sneakers.
Adidas tried to defend the design, saying “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”. The company apologized if someone felt offended and announced it is withdrawing plans to sell the shackle sneakers.