Are Nine West's shoe ads sexist?

Are Nine West's 'Walk Of Shame' Shoes And Others Sexist?
Are Nine West's 'Walk Of Shame' Shoes And Others Sexist?

The fashion advertising industry has faced its share of criticisms. Now one shoe company is receiving criticisms of its own for its fall campaign portraying the modern woman.

The ads under fire come from Nine West -- whose suggestive marketing includes shoe recommendations for "husband hunting," the "walk of shame," "first day of kindergarten" and even "drunch" -- drunk lunch (or brunch -- people use it for both), that is.

Many argue the ads only portray women as girlfriends or mothers. Some have called the ads "straight out of the '50s" and "offensive."

As Consumerist puts it: "Good news, women of the world! The only occasions you're going to have in your life to buy shoes boil down to finding your first husband and taking the kids to school."

A marketing executive for Nine West seems to have a different take, though, telling The New York Times that the campaign is just a modern spin on traditional marketing strategies.

She says that the full campaign even includes an occasion for being stuck in an office meeting, called "meeting about a meeting."

Still, a writer for Bustle says that the ads fail to address women in other roles. They say, "The problem? Nine West's ads manage to be 'modernized' without challenging sexist convention in any way."

Now some are pointing out the could-have-beens, saying Nine West still could have gotten the message across without being offensive.

As one marketing expert tells The New York Times: "'Starter husband hunting' and 'walk of shame' ... are things that men say about women, not that women say about women. ... If you really liked women, you'd be calling that a 'victory lap,' not a 'walk of shame.'"

Others seem to take a more lighthearted view of the campaign paired with some of the company's tweets, such as this one that reads: "It's hunting season. ... If you're looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now, we have a shoe for that."

Some of the ads currently appear online on the Nine West website. The rest are expected to come out next month in magazines and in Nine West stores.

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