Dolce & Gabbana has faced backlash in the past surrounding controversial IVF comments made by designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana.
It again ran into trouble when its spring ’13 collection included Blackamoor earrings that outraged the wider community and fashion fans alike due to their racial overtones. Now it seems the Italian powerhouse may soon find itself in the midst of yet another controversy, this time due to the name of a pair of sandals.
The label has listed its spring ’16 collection online for pre-order and among the shoes available is a so-called “Slave” sandal.
While the term is, in fact, a description for a particular lace-up shoe silhouette, it is almost entirely obsolete with the now widely-preferred description “gladiator sandals.”
While the brand’s e-commerce site refers to the shoe as the “Slave” sandal, other retailers carrying the same style have chosen to omit the term entirely. Moda Operandi has titled the style the “Pom Pom Wrap Around Sandal.” Saks calls it the “Pom-Pom Leather Lace-Up Sandal.”
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The collection was inspired by their Italian heritage through the eyes of tourists and jet-set locations like Rome, Venice and Capri. Apparel throughout the collection was embellished with sayings such as “Italia is Love.”
This is not the first time a major fashion brand has been the center of controversy. In March of last year, DSquared2 was called out for using the hashtag #DSQUAW to reference its collection. Urban Outfitters is still in court after appropriating Navajo Nation designs in its apparel and accessories.
Dolce & Gabbana has not returned FN’s request for comment.