Arts and CultureColumnsNationalNewsPoliticsSF Bay Area

How Adidas Got Trolled By A Fashion Show Prank

Updated: Jan 19, 2023 11:07
The Bay's best newsletter for underground events & news

Whether we like it or not, sweatshop labor is used by most of the clothing companies that are popular in the Western World. However, it is a rarity for the fashion industry to directly acknowledge this ugly truth in any promotional capacity. 

So it was probably a shock when Adidas announced a new co-CEO, Vay Ya Nak Phoan, who served as a union leader at a Cambodian sweatshop or that their new line would be composed of “carefully distressed garments upcycled from clothing worn non-stop for six months by Cambodian workers who are owed wages withheld during the pandemic” at a fashion show in Berlin, Germany. 

Except they didn’t… 

The fact that the press took this seriously is only shocking if you don’t take into the account the current state of fashion.

The entire announcement was a spoof by activist group The Yes Men, but that didn’t stop the mainstream media and many in the fashion world from believing that Adidas was proudly proclaiming to the world that they steal money from Cambodian workers. 

The models at the fashion event were bloodied and covered in bruises while on stage. One display even showed a pair of Adidas flip flops that had sharp metal spikes sticking out of the soles designed to stab whoever wore them. 

The fact that the press took this seriously is only shocking if you don’t take into the account the current state of fashion. While it may seem absurd to have bloodied models wear clothing that has been ripped to shreds or flip flops designed by Pharrell Williams to cause discomfort, this isn’t that far off from the stupid shit rich fashion enthusiasts actually pretend to be into. 

Adidas went into full damage control mode…

Kanye West, who used to be one of my favorite rappers, has basically become a weird combination of Candace Owens and Adolf Hiter. He also had a deal with Adidas, and aside from the Cambodian CEO, the clothes at the “Realitywear” event aren’t that far off from the trash Kanye West paid models to wear in the past. 

Adidas went into full damage control mode and announced they had nothing to do with the launch and that there was no co-CEO at the company. 

There were no updates about Adidas changing their business practice of exploiting poor and adolescent workers in developing countries.

That’s the funny thing about capitalism, they’ll drop a guy for saying something bad, but they won’t stop relying on what could be described as slave labor. Kanye West should have undoubtedly been dropped from the company, but the only reason why they dropped him is because antisemitism is taboo. If Nazis were considered palatable to a mainstream audience, Adidas would probably pivot and it wouldn’t be long before Ye was wearing an Adidas manufactured pair of Air Hitlers to go along with his Genocide Jeans made of Japanese denim. Maybe the T-shirt would be from Italy to really complete the Axis aesthetic. Possibly a Benito Mussolini muscle T?

FOLLOW MY WRITING ON INSTAGRAM HERE

FOLLOW MY WRITING ON SUBSTACK HERE

FOLLOW BAY AREA MEMES ON FACEBOOK HERE

FOLLOW BAY AREA MEMES ON INSTAGRAM HERE

PURCHASE MY BOOK HERE

Like this article? Make sure to sign up for our mailing list so you never miss a goddamn thing!
Previous post

Everything To Know About Andrew Tate, The Human Trafficker Radicalizing Young Men

Next post

We Wanna Send You to Opening Night at Edwardian Ball!


Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, BrokeAssStuart.com. His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!

4 Comments

  1. Moi
    January 21, 2023 at 4:58 am — Reply

    Abraham, you are really digging into it, aren’t you?

    Cut the edgy Nazi-related stuff. It doesn’t ‘wear’ well, even if it makes sense to a bunch of readers (how many?) who find that sort of comparison cutting and on point.

    Do you realize that you are signalling your non-understanding while trying to sound like you have some significance? Notice that the group you reference has some general semblance of balance, by using useful contemporary points of provocation. You? You just go old-school, and not so well.

    I really like your POV most of the time. But you have to update you game, Abraham. It ends up sounding tone-deaf. You wanna flat-brim? You do you. You want to pull WWII references out of a hat? Be more careful.

  2. Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord
    January 21, 2023 at 9:50 am — Reply

    I made a reference to fascism as American businesses have a long and documented history of supporting fascist governments and movements. America even did business with the Nazis and Henry Ford was an unapologetic antisemite. Kanye West worked for Adidas and went on an antisemitic rant. Adidas dropped Kanye, but if there was mainstream acceptance of these ideals in the American business community, then it would be very unlikely for them to distance themselves.

    I would for you to explain my non-understanding with concrete details to support your statement. If not, you’re just using words.

  3. Moi
    January 22, 2023 at 4:34 am — Reply

    Abraham, I am glad to meet you where you ask. You said, absent support, my comments were “just using words,” So let me start by quoting some (of your) words:

    “If Nazis were considered palatable to a mainstream audience, Adidas would probably pivot and it wouldn’t be long before Ye was wearing an Adidas manufactured pair of Air Hitlers to go along with his Genocide Jeans made of Japanese denim. Maybe the T-shirt would be from Italy to really complete the Axis aesthetic. Possibly a Benito Mussolini muscle T?”

    First, Adidas never supported Nazis. So why would you make that a hypothetical? Reason? Because it allows you to indulge, as you have done before, in the baiting, which accrues interest, when you get to reference Nazis. And you found a way to also mangle the Axis into a convenient blend of this and that.

    Second, yes, Americans did support the Nazis. There was a small spark of interest via the George Lincoln Rockwell and his American Nazi Party. And, as you note, Henry Ford was a crank and racist. So, too, some in the UK (and, sadly, elsewhere). But, what of it? How does that connect to your larger point? You seem to think this invokes a deep, undiscovered, truth. What it does, instead, is magnifies a tragic version of the same: there are racists in America. Sigh. And, so?

    Third, you missed an opportunity by mangling a bunch of ideas. Adidas is a German company, though it was founded after the war . . . by the Dasslers, who were members of the Nazi Party. So, therein lies a potential point of contact for your comments. But you didn’t make that point. Or maybe start flogging Hugo Boss? Or make a Krupp coffee joke? Or some elevator-related aside about Siemens? I dunno. Just trying to help if you decide to pursue this line of thought.

    Fourth, you are here just lazily leaning into Godwin’s Law. I certainly understood your point. But why make it with such a blunt hammer? Doing so, as I suggested of you previously, mitigates against your actual argument (a good one) and also ends up trivializing the Holocaust. I would like to think that you wanted to do neither of those things. But, again, I made that point in a previous comment, and you seemed to either ignore it or just lean into the comparison for (poor) rhetorical effect.

    Fifth, you make this observation when you challenge my understanding of what you wrote (beyond, but also recalling, you suggesting I was “just using words”): “Adidas dropped Kanye, but if there was mainstream acceptance of these ideals in the American business community, then it would be very unlikely for them to distance themselves.” What about that statement is nothing if not just hypothetical words meant to create a response? Point in fact (not just words), that wasn’t the case at all. Right? So, what are you driving at here?How about focusing on their hesitation to actually do something? How about focusing on the mental health issues at play here? Imagine. You could focus on the actual ideas at play and stop invoking Mr. Mustache and his crooked cross!

    Abraham, as I have said countless times, I like your writings. You have passion. You have a spirited POV (with which I, on occasion, disagree). So, what am I suggesting when I am “just using words”? Drop the Nazi shtick. Or, more reasonably, pull it out in a bit more of a measured fashion.

    I really appreciate you replying to me. I love a writer who cares about conversations. Truly.

  4. Moi
    February 3, 2023 at 4:16 am — Reply

    Abraham, you’ve kinda’ left me hanging here. Did I respond in a manner that met your challenge? Did we accomplish anything?

    As I noted in my last post: “I really appreciate you replying to me. I love a writer who cares about conversations. Truly.”

    So, I am interested to know if my response rose above the level of “just using words.” If you have the time, feel free to reply. If not, no worries. Keep on keeping on.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *