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Adidas Shackle Shoe, Would You Have Worn It?

July 19, 2012

Fashion | by Danny & Josh

Global sportswear brand Adidas were recently accused by bloggers, and the public of associating their most recent trainer with an object of imprisonment used in slavery referred to as shackles. Only hours after bloggers posted their disapproval, and the public voiced their outrage, did controversy erupt, resulting in the immediate halt of production.

Despite this minor flaw Adidas have managed to overlook, it does have to be said that they are certainly a fresh take on the usual style of trainers. The orange and purple hi-tops have an attachable plastic orange chain and cuff going around each ankle.  It could be possible that in an attempt to be outlandishly innovative and bold, designer Jeremy Scott, and the sportswear brand, became oblivious to the blatant offense this could cause the Adidas market; however this would seem highly ignorant particularly when considering that Adidas have a strong following of customers who could be descendants of the slave trade.

In response to the negativity surrounding the trainer Adidas claimed, “It is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott’s outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery”. So it seems this has been a case of being so focused on bringing something unique to the market that what some may label as ‘the obvious’ has been overlooked. Jeremy Scott stated his inspiration was derived from a toy called My Pet Monster, indicating a light-hearted and playful intention in the design. The sportswear company also attempted to create a buzz around the product, set to sell at £223, by asking Facebook fans “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” the obvious answer being no, as no other sportswear brand up until now have had the idiocy to not consider the possible negative connotations associated with these imitation of chained cuffs.

There have been bloggers defending the design with suggestions that maybe the public should not be quite so easily offended, and accept the product for the light-hearted, unique trainers Adidas had intended them to be. Whilst I certainly agree it would seem ludacris of Adidas to release a product intentionally to offend their market, or portray any subliminal messages of discrimination, it does seem ignorant of the company not to have considered the possible negative perceptions of the shoe.

So, should they have gone ahead with production, would you have taken the risk and invested in a pair of JS Roundhouse Mid’s despite controversy?  Or do you agree with the decision to not go ahead with the ‘shackle’ shoe production line? I am more of a pump than trainer person myself but to wear a product now associated with such sensitive historic events would certainly not sit comfortably with me. So long shackle shoes!

Words Rochelle Alexandra, Illustration Danny Keeling