There are quite a few ways to describe Dolce & Gabbana’s Spring 2016 sandal: gladiator, lace-up or even “Pom Pom Wrap Around” as it’s listed on Moda Operandi. But unsurprisingly, the tone-deaf fashion house has decided to dub it the “Slave” sandal.
Footwear News reports that Dolce & Gabbana called the $2,395 shoe the Slave sandal in its listing of Spring 2016 items available for pre-order online. The fact that the term slave is sometimes used to describe a lace-up shoe silhouette doesn’t give D&G a pass. Slave also references centuries of inhumane, systematic oppression. And the pernicious effects of slavery still impact people to this day. Wouldn’t Pom-Pom Wraparound be a lot less controversial?
Unless, of course, controversy is the point. Though Dolce & Gabbana made strides toward inclusion in recent months with a line of abayas and handbags featuring same-sex couples, they’re not exactly a paragon of diversity. In Spring 2013, they sent “Blackamoor” earrings down the runway and in March of last year, the founders came under fire for anti-IVF comments.
Unfortunately, the Slave sandal label is the latest in a series of ignorant missteps from the brand. And frankly, they should know better.