Adidas dropped a sneaker from its summer lineup late today following criticism that the shoe conjured images of slavery.
The shoes were to have included a set of plastic shackles, one attached to each shoe.
The "JS Roundhouse Mids," were designed by Jeremy Scott, who is known for creating eccentric fashion statements for the likes of Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears.
In announcing the shoe would be withdrawn, Portland-based Adidas America issued a statement saying, "Jeremy Scott is renowned as a designer whose style is quirky and lighthearted and his previous shoe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.
"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.
"Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback."
But the power of negative social media feedback apparently forced the Germany-based company away from plans to make the "Roundhouse" available in August.
Oftentimes, sneaker companies have benefited from initial controversy greeting a shoe design. In this case, Adidas was not willing to take that risk.
Indeed, one of the nearly 3,000 comments posted on the Roundhouse Facebook page this evening said, "This whole controversy is about the greatest thing that could have happened for Adidas. It has so many people talking about their shoes."
But most of the consumer reaction on the Facebook page was devoted to positive and critical assessment of the design.
"I am a white woman and I find these shoes VERY offensive," one Facebook user wrote. "I would never wear them nor let my grandson wear them. Slavery was a time in history we should all be ashamed of!"
Another wrote, "these shoes are sweet.. i dont know how their promo quote even hints at racism. holding down someones hot game not racist."
And another: "no way the people at Adidas were intending to be racist. how about the old brief case cuffed to the arm. these people want to make money not get bad press..."
And another: "Only someone who doesn't identify as a person of color would say that Adidas didn't realize what they were doing. This is clearly racial."
The "Roundhouse" was just one of 18 shoe designs and 31 apparel pieces Adidas plans to roll out in August.
A news release promoting the collection says of Scott's designs, "Playing with elements from nature and technology while wrapping everything up in a '90s inspired look, the new collection features flower and animal patterns, a new interpretation of the popular teddy bears and computer keyboard prints, all mixed with the remarkable brandings and designs of the 3-Stripes brand.
"Bright and loud colours characterize the entire collection, and Jeremy's iconic wings can now also be found on a women's wedge featuring a butterfly print. "
The apparel pieces are expected to range from about $90 to $1,500; the shoes, $150 to $440.
The debate comes on the heals of Nike's Black & Tan controversy earlier this year. In the run-up to St. Patrick's Day, the Oregon sports apparel giant released a seasonal sneaker named after the Black and Tan drink made by mixing stout and lager. However, it's also the name of a brutal British paramilitary force sent to suppress Irish revolutionaries in the early 1920s.
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