Being the creative spirit that I am, I can fully appreciate it when a designer looks to history for inspiration. It’s something that’s practiced in the fashion industry all the time. But when Adidas released the photo of a new sneaker slated to hit stores this summer the public had no problem with letting the athletic apparel company know that they had reached waaaaaay too far back in time when coming up with the idea for their latest shoe design.
The shoe is designed by Jeremy Scott and is officially titled JS Roundhouse Mids, according to abcnews.com. The standout feature on the footwear is the velco ankle bracelet attached to the shoe with a chain. I think it’s safe to say that you would have to be blind to look at this shoe and not instantly think bondage. OK, that’s putting it mildly. SLAVERY is more like it. At least that’s what I thought when I saw the shoe, and so did many, many other people. View some of the mixed comments here.
According to the article, Scott said that the design was not inspired by slavery but by a 1980s doll called My Pet Monster. Even if that is the case, perception is everything. For many people the shoe still gives off a negative vibe, not a lighthearted playful feel the designer may have intended.
Adidas recently released a statement defending Scott’s design saying, “Our collaboration with Jeremy Scott has always stood for creativity and originality. Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted and his previous shoe designs for adidas Originals have, for example, included panda heads and Mickey Mouse. 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.”
I’m not sure who I’m more disappointed in, the company for their lack of judgment in approving the design of the shoe in the first place, or the people dumb enough to shell out $350.00 for something that is considered “hot” – never mind the fact that it would make them look like a modern day slave. Some people reading this may think, “Come on. You’re taking this way too seriously. It’s just fashion.” What many people fail to realize is that making a fashion statement really does make a statement. What is the company that sells a product like this saying about itself and how it feels about the potential customer buying the product? What is the person who purchases a product like this saying about the respect, or the lack of respect, they have for themselves?
Think about it.
I am happy to say that because of the recent uproar from the online public Adidas has apologized for any offense that the design may have caused and has decided not to deliver the shoe to retailers for the intended August release. This is one time when history will not be allowed to repeat itself – even if it is “just” for the sake of fashion.
Until next time…
Hey, before you go “leave a comment” stating your thoughts on the Adidas controversy. I would love to hear from you.
Shoe Photo: Adidas Facebook page