What do you call a hilariously expensive sandal adorned with colorful pom poms as if fashioned in a third grade art class? According to Dolce & Gabbana, you call that piece of footwear the “Slave Sandal.” And you thought this hideous sandal couldn’t become any more offensive.
When it comes to potentially “un-PC” moves, there’s various levels of inappropriate cultural appropriation, and then there’s this, which lives in a category of catastrophic PR moves all its own. How in the hell did this name slip past various levels of Dolce & Gabbana employees? Were they all taking a siesta? Did the copywriter for the brand’s online store just pull a fast one on the company and change the name at the last minute to mess with everyone? It’s like the Jeremy Scott shackle sneaker snafu all over again.
This isn’t the first time Dolce & Gabbana has made a misstep in this arena. In fact, the brand’s still recovering from their spring 2016 show in which they put their overtly Chinese-inspired collection on a bunch of Asian models. Smooth move, guys.
It’s worth noting that there was a time when this style of shoe was oft referred to as a “slave sandal,” but the term was abandoned years ago in favor of the less offensive “gladiator sandal.” Surly D&G will rename the shoe in response to the substantial online backlash, but unfortunately it will still be ugly AF.