Adidas has nixed plans to sell the JS Roundhouse Mid, a pair of hi-tops designed by Jeremy Scott, that are ugly, not only because they feature our least favorite color (purple) but also because they have some crazy yellow leg cuffs attached to them. That little design element has got the media calling them “shackle” shoes, offended some for the perceived allusion to slavery, and prompted the athletic company to issue an apology.
“We apologise if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace,” said Adidas in a statement.
“Wow obviously there was no one of color in the room when the marketing/product team ok’d this,” one commenter wrote on the Facebook page where the shoes were first introduced.
Indeed, as we’ve said before, diversity among the staff is a barrier against insensitivity. Jezebel also points out that the viral nature of the Internet has played a role in stirring up the controversy, pointing to an Observer story that places the shoe’s actual origins at a toy called “My Pet Monster.”
Oh well. There are plenty of other sneakers to choose from, including the Adidas Consortium collection, which features shoes made in collaboration with “taste makers” from around the world (including a personal friend, Shaniqwa Jarvis).
More importantly, today is Juneteenth, the day commemorating the end of slavery in this country. Let’s all talk about something significant.