“Got a sneaker game so hot you lock your kicks to your ankles?”
This was the caption beneath the picture of Adidas’ JS Roundhouse Mid sneakers that set the controversy in motion. The shoes made their very swift debut on the brand’s Facebook page June 14th, and sparked a firestorm of controversy.
Featuring a bright orange chain and ankle strap, the design was a collaboration between Adidas Originals and edgy fashion designer Jeremy Scott. The shoes failed to impress many, and left detractors likening its details to slave chains and prison shackles.
Adidas apologized Monday night and announced that it was canceling plans to sell the sneaker.
“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,” the company said in an email to TODAY.com. “Since the shoe debuted on our Facebook page ahead of its market release in August, Adidas has received both favorable and critical feedback.
“We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace,” it concluded.
The statement came hours after Adidas told TODAY.com the sneakers were not meant to be a symbol of oppression, and noted that Scott had previously designed creative kicks for Adidas featuring panda bear heads and Mickey Mouse.
“Any suggestion that this is linked to slavery is untruthful,” the company said earlier Monday.
The company did not respond to questions about how many, if any, of the sneakers have already been produced.
Read more: MSNBC