Adidas has been forced to rethink its plans to release a new design for its trainers, after critics labelled the shoes offensive, saying they resemble a symbol of slavery.
Designed by Jeremy Scott, the shoes look like ordinary hi-top trainer shoes, but with the bizarre addition of a bright orange plastic cuff for each ankle. The cuffs are attached to the shoes with plastic chain links and have perhaps understandably been compared to ankle shackles – a symbol of slavery.
The shoe, named the JS Roundhouse Mid, has caused controversy on social networking sites, after an image of the design was made public. But according to the designer, the inspiration was actually a furry toy called ‘My Pet Monster’.
[Related article: My top five fashion disasters]
“My work has always been inspired by cartoons, toys and my childhood," Scott said in a statement.
He was backed up by Adidas, who said in a statement that the shoe, which was to be sold for £223 ($350) "is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery".
Adidas explained that the response to the early debut of the image on Facebook has made the company rethink its plans for a launch later this year.
"Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favourable and critical feedback,” the statement read. “We apologise if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace."
The image has been removed from the Adidas Facebook page but not before comments reached 3,500. One commenter, named Kay Tee, wrote, “How would a Jewish person feel if Nike decided to have a shoe with a swastika on it and tried to claim it was OK in the name of fashion?"
Are you offended by the shoe design?