Call it innovative shoe design, or just a way to keep yourself from losing track of your sneakers.
Either way, those hoping to grab a pair of new adidas shoes made with built-in shackles are out of luck, as adidas has pulled the model amid complaints that the design conveys images of slavery.
The shoes were first unveiled in January, but a recent Facebook post advertising the new sneakers led to accusations of racism.
In a June 14 post showing the JS Roundhouse Mids, adidas asked, “Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?” The conversation quickly devolved into questions of what adidas was trying to do with the shoe, with allegations of both racism and sordid uses for the sneakers.
Shoe designer Jeremy Scott, however, continues to insist that his inspiration for the shoes came from a source he uses for many of his models — a childhood story. He says this pair was based on My Pet Monster.
Looking at the coloring and details of the creature, he may have a point.
Adidas even issued a statement backing Scott’s design.
“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,” said a company representative, according to TODAY.com. “Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted. … Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful.”
Nevertheless, the shoes are no longer scheduled to go on sale in August, USAToday.com reports. Adidas released another statement, this time saying that after “both favorable and critical feedback,” the company is apologizing for offending anyone and “withdrawing our plans to make them available to the marketplace.”
Check out the shoes, and the fuzzy monster that inspired the brouhaha, below.
Photo via Facebook/adidas
Photo via Twitter/@ITSJEREMYSCOTT