The JS Roundhouse Mids, the latest Adidas sneakers slated for release in August, are sparking a controversy with their potentially offensive design. Created by Adidas Originals and Jeremy Scott, the kicks have been dubbed "Shackle Shoes" by their many critics, referencing the bright orange bands which attach to the wearer's ankles.
No comment so far from Adidas, but the outrage recalls Nike's March release of a "beer-themed" trainer unofficially called "The Black and Tan." Angry Irish Americans, remembering the crackdown by "Black and Tan" forces in Ireland in the 1920s, persuaded the shoe maker to apologize.
The Huffington Post noted one comment that read, "“How would a Jewish person feel if Nike decided to have a shoe with a swastika on it and tried to claim it was OK in the name of fashion?”
Facebook user Kay Tee agreed, and said: 'It's offensive and inappropriate in many ways. Not to mention ugly. Regardless if the company was saying the shoes are so hot you have to chain them to you, or they were capitalising on the whole prison style popularity. But corporate business has a social responsibility above all to consider these perceptions before releasing a product like this.'
Over 2,000 Facebook comments have been left so far, with many calling the design “offensive”, “ignorant”, claiming the company has “sunk to new lows” and branding the shoes “slavewear”.
Dr Boyce Watkins, writing for Your Black World, said: ‘Shackles. The stuff that our ancestors wore for 400 years while experiencing the most horrific atrocities imaginable. Most of which were never documented in the history books and kept away from you in the educational system, all so you’d be willing to put shackles on your ankles today and not be so sensitive about it,’ Watkins said. The Professor at Syracuse University said he accepted some people would accuse him of overreacting. But he added: ‘There is always a group of negroes who are more than happy to resubmit themselves to slavery. I’m offended by these shoes as there is nothing funny about the prison industrial complex, which is the most genocidal thing to happen to the black family since slavery itself.’
In a statement to the Daily News on Monday, Adidas dismissed the criticism. "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 said. "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. Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful."
Adidas has sparked outrage and been accused of ‘promoting slavery‘ by creating a new pair of trainers which have bright orange ‘shackles‘ that fit around the wearer’s ankles. The clothing giant is under fire for its August scheduled release of the JS Roundhouse Mids, which many have compared to the devices worn by black slaves in 19th Century America.
Adidas Originals and Jeremy Scott have given us some of the most out of the ordinary shoe designs we have seen in the last few years. Embraced by the sneaker community, JS and AO continue to push the envelope with a new take on the Roundhouse Mid. Dubbed the “Handcuff”, the model features a plastic chain-link and rubber cuff at the ankle as well as 3M reflective striping over the upper.
The post encourages fans to “tighten up their style” with a pair of the sneakers, officially named JS Roundhouse Mids, asking, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
A new shoe unveiled by Adidas last week has kicked off a chain reaction, as sneaker fans around the world slammed the company for creating a racist design. The shoes, dubbed the JS Roundhouse Mids, were featured in a June 14 post on the Adidas Originals Facebook page. The purple and orange sneakers come with a set of plastic “shackles” that strap around the ankles.