For August, Adidas had in store for shoppers from all over the world a surprise, fashion forward sneaker it called the JS Roundhouse Mids. The company has just announced the show will no longer be coming out – ever.
Check out the photo attached to this article to see how the sneaker that was supposed to sell for about $350 (€277.3) would have looked.
You will notice that it comes with orange shackles, which are attached to the shoe by means of chains.
Adidas meant the design to be very fashion forward and, of course, bold, but it only managed to get thousands of potential customers fuming mad, the Chicago Sun-Times
In a matter of hours, over 2,000 people commented on the company's Facebook page to explain why they considered the shoe offensive: it made one think of slavery.
Depending on how you look at it, it either reminds of the time when blacks were slaves, or draws for inspiration on the current garb of inmates. Either way, it's wrong and Adidas should have thought twice before coming out with it, voices say.
“Adidas must not care how or who they disrespect. This company must be runner up in the contest of how to pretending [sic] that the past don’t matter,” Marcus Ford writes on the company's page.
“It’s not the shoe that’s racist, it’s the designer. This does make people think of slavery. I think of imprisonment or slaver[sic] when I see it, and I’m not black,” Christian Lorenzo adds.
When the controversy spread to other social networking websites, Adidas promptly issued a statement for damage control, saying the shoe wasn't racist. It was just trendy.
“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,” a spokesperson for Adidas is cited as saying.
However, given the reaction it got months before the release of the shackle sneaker, Adidas probably realized it wasn't going to make any money off it, so it canceled the release altogether.
“We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace,” Adidas says in a statement to MSNBC