Adidas has decided not to sell the JS Roundhouse Mid after Jesse Jackson threatened a protest, calling them “slave shoes.”
Beverly Hills designer Jeremy Scott created the shoe with shackles. He says the style was inspired by a cartoon and toy from the 1990s—My Pet Monster. Scott, who is known for outfitting Lady Gaga, said he is frequently inspired by childhood cartoons.
But Jackson thinks that racism is behind the design, and he is upset that Adidas would use slavery to make a profit. He writes for The Huffington Post, “These slave shoes are odious and we as a people should be called to resent and resist them. If put into production and placed on the market, protests and pickets signs will follow. Adidas cannot make a profit at the expense of commercialized human degradation.”
Despite a few who have jumped on the bandwagon, Jackson is largely standing alone. Fashion designers have been quick to come to Scott’s defense, noting his eclectic style.
The shoe, which Adidas had planned to sell for $350, will not go on store shelves despite 38,000 “likes” on the company’s Facebook page.