Source: Julia Rubin / Styleite
Naming products is a tricky business, but it’s fairly easy to come up with something that doesn’t seem horribly racist. Or so we thought.
This afternoon Styleite was tipped off to Melissa Pierce‘s Twitter feed, which made note of some offensive footwear. Pierce was shopping on Amazon when she came across a boot made by Coclico. The style? Miller. The color? Kentucky Negro. Um, WHAT?! From a brief perusal of Amazon’s Coclico offerings, we surmised Kentucky is a type of leather treatment they use (shoes also come in colorways like Kentucky Hazelnut), and Negro is the unnecessarily offensive way they say black (there is also a shoe that comes in Dixan Negro).
So Styleite decided to dig a little deeper. Coclico’s own e-commerce site doesn’t use the word negro, and instead calls the shade Kentucky Black. The same is true of online retailer Ped Shoes. However, this is not the case over at Shopbop. They list a Coclico boot color “Negro (black)”.
For the record, Coclico is an American company, though the shoes are made in Spain. So, did Coclico send out line sheets with the offending term? We can’t imagine Amazon or Shopbop would both use the word out of the blue. But then why does Coclico not use the word on its own site? We hope it’s because people complained, just like we are doing now.
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