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Red Flag for National Day shoes

Red Flag for National Day shoes

Pouncing on the opportunity profit from-slash-celebrate UAE’s National Day, Puma steps on more than a few Emirati toes. Now will other countries follow suit?

November 28, 2011 5:54 by

As the UAE National Day draws near, so come the onslaught of national day-related merchandise. In fact, Kipp has put together seven alternative items to show your national pride this month.

Some products are downright tacky while others are pretty cool. And then there’s Puma’s Limited Edition SpeedCat shoes. Costing 649AED, the shoes have caused a commotion among Emiratis saying the flag shouldn’t be on footwear.

The report, originally on Emirates 24/7, has already been picked up by CNN’s Inside Middle East.

The shoes (seen above) use the flag colours and not the actual flag itself.

In the article, Emiratis and expatriates were quoted as “disappointed” and saying that the putting “your nation’s flag on your feet” is “just disrespectful.”

Puma has yet to release a statement but we can imagine that there will be a bit more than apologies. What happened to quick thinking, crisis management Puma? Shouldn’t you be pouncing at the opportunity to straighten this all out? (Pun most definitely intended)

But not everyone is displeased, fashion blog Fashion Gossip is quite happy with the shoes, even endorsing them on their site. On the site, Puma Marketing Manager Abdelhamid Oraibi says “Our aim is to offer the people of the UAE a piece of locally created design as a symbol of recognition of this great occasion.”

The two different designs of the shoes (variations of colour) were winning designs from their internal activation, creative factory.

It’s a sensitive issue, Kipp agrees. Maybe one that will also be taken up not just by the UAE but by other places that share the same national colours: Iraq, Kuwait, Palestine, Sudan, Syria and Jordan, eh?

It’ll be interesting to see how Puma will respond to, from what we gather, are an outspoken few.

What about you? What do you think about the shoes? And about all this national day pride merchandise cropping up? Leave a comment or email us your thoughts at [email protected]

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