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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Adidas, Your LACK of Diversity Is Showing!

After a  public outcry about the design of their "shackle" shoes, Adidas decided to cancel the release. The shoe features affixed rubber shackles, which some referred to as "slave shackles" while others called them "prison shackles." Aside from all of that, the shoes are just ugly as all f*cks. For $350? GTFOH!
Jesse Jackson had this to say: "The attempt to commercialize and make popular more than 200 years of human degradation, where blacks were considered three-fifths human by our Constitution is offensive, appalling and insensitive." I won't go so far as to say Adidas wanted to make slavery popular again (and blacks were not and still are not the only ones who were enslaved), but it does reflect poorly on the company. 

I, for one, am a retired "sneaker head(a person who collects limited, rare, OG, or flat out exclusive kicks)" but I know what its like to want that unique shoe. A person who has never been a sneaker head/fiend/addict will not understand this. Its a great feeling for a sneaker head to get compliments from other sneaker heads about his/her  "shoe game." Being a sneaker head is all about the competition. You want your shoe collection to feature more unique shoes, more eye catching shoes and more "exclusive" shoes than the collection of anyone else who dare call themselves a sneaker head. 

You're probably asking why the f*ck I just shared that. Keep reading, I promise I'm going somewhere with this. 

Adidas and Jeremy Scott, the shoe's designer, have been creating some whacky shoes as of late. Just check out these, these and these. At first glance, I thought they were another attempt for Adidas to create some more ugly ass shoes. It was not until I took a second look that I saw the chain hanging from the yellow "strap" and wondered WTF Adidas was thinking. 

What was the thought process behind creating them? The caption below the now-controversial advertising photo posted to the company's Facebook page read, "Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?" What? Lock your kicks to your ankles? Really Adidas? FAIL! 

Women are known for wearing crazy and whacky shoes and some of them have a similar disconnected shackle look, but you don't see Giuseppe marketing these ankle strap shoes as "shackles." Adidas, your lack of diversity is showing

I bet JS thought he was continuing his streak of being so "different." He thought that every sneaker head in the world would want them. I wouldn't be surprised if Adidas pulled this whole thing as a publicity stunt knowing damned well they were never planning to release them. By any means necessary, right? Its not like enough people offended by this would actually resolve not to support Adidas anymore after this fustercluck. *sarcasm* 

It seems to me like Adidas is shocked by the public outcry. The nerve of Adidas to underestimate the power of consumers on social networks. This is what happens when the perspective of minorities is not present in the board room. Adidas released a statement defending the designer Jeremy Scott, saying he has a "quirky" and "lighthearted" style. NEWSFLASH Adidas, there is nothing lighthearted about shoes with shackles on them. There is nothing quirky about shoes with shackles on them. I'm no genius but I know Jeremy designed these ugly ass shoes and thought he was gonna ride the wave to the top. I won't go so far as to say he should be fired but the designer and everyone who gave the go-ahead throughout the creative process needs to face some repurcusions. 

If there is one thing this situation should show us is the importance of having a diverse staff. This is obviously something Adidas hasn't taken seriously. This is why diversity matters. Perhaps they have African Americans on their staff who warned them about the potential of the shoe's design to evoke images of slavery. Perhaps they did not listen because that person's rank wasn't high enough to matter. 

I'm glad the shoes won't be released because I know people would buy them just for the sake of saying they have them. I'm afraid the domino effect of that would be more companies creating insensitive materials just to test consumer tolerance. I hope Adidas learned their lesson and, in the process, showed other companies the types of products they should snuff while they're still on the cutting floors. 

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