Meet the Jeremy Scott x adidas Roundhouse Mid “Handcuffs,” a collaboration between downtown designer Jeremy Scott (well known for his colorful, eccentric collaborations) and Adidas, obviously. They’re pretty much just Adidas’ classic Roundhouse style, updated with some funky, bright Jeremy Scott-y colors and, uh, Velcro ankle shackles. They’re scheduled to hit stores in August, but it’s possible public outcry might change that.
Adidas posted the above image on their Facebook page and the comment thread is (at publication time) an agonized 2,315 comment shouting match about whether or not these are a tasteless allusion to slavery. We’ve been wading through trying to decipher the arguments and they pretty much break down like this:
1. The shoes are racist.
2. Not racist, just tasteless.
3. People who think the shoes are racist/tasteless are idiots.
4. But it could be tasteless because of jail and also house arrest!
5. Everyone is an idiot.
6. These shoes are fresh.
7. WHERE CAN I BUY THE SHOES? ?!~PLEASE EMAIL TO TELL ME WHERE I CAN BUY THEM THNX~~
Here are a few of the comments: “adidas supported apartheid in Africa,” “If u think it’s racist then u probably are RACIST,” ”Those chains have some weird connotations I don’t like,” ”Looks real cool but has a VERY RACIST message,” and of course, “Adidas, by actually selling these shoes in August, you will be teaching children that its fashionable to be in shackles. I am going to do everything in my power to have these shoes banned from sale in August.” References to Roots and Amistad throughout.
We’re guessing Scott’s inspiration was sneakerheads being chained to their kicks. Adidas told HuffPo that there was no harm intended:
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. 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.
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