Nude shoe campaign sparks outrage

A social media campaign for a Melbourne based shoe company has angered some social media users for being exploitative.
A social media campaign for a Melbourne based shoe company has angered some social media users for being exploitative.

A SOCIAL media campaign for a Melbourne shoe company has sparked outrage online, with one labelling the advertisement as "ridiculous sexualisation".

Preston Zly Design, which launched in North Fitzroy in 1995, sells handmade shoes designed by artists Johanna Preston and Petr Zly.

The shoes, which are available in store in Melbourne as well as online, uploaded a montage of designs to their Instagram, which featured an array of boots, heels and wedged shoes.

This ad campaign has been slammed online

"Sneak peek," the post read.

"A taster for what we have coming for winter - fingers crossed our first delivery will arrive this week - we are so excited!

"Petr is working hard over the next few days to get this on the website so you can look at it closely!

"What do you think so far? We are living (sic) this shoot by creative team @biancachristoff_stylist and @samantha_jarrett - they bring a wonderful fresh eye to our work which leaves our creative juices free to flow into the design of our next collection!"

But some social media users were quick to critique the campaign, which features an almost naked woman wearing the brightly coloured shoes.

The shoe campaign has ruffled a few feathers.

"Why does the model have to take her pants off to sell shoes? one person questioned.

"Lisa Little lovely shoes. Shame about the ridiculous sexualisation," another added.

Designer Johanna Preston hit back at the criticism, defending the photographs as simply showing off the shoes to consumers.

"We are not clothing designers - it's all about the shoes here," she wrote on Facebook.

"She [model] is not naked and is not doing anything sexual. Have we come to a place now where the female body is completely taboo?"

Shoes cause outrage online

One critic responded by suggesting the campaign was "sexualisation of a faceless female form for commercial profit".

"Can we expect similar ads for men's footwear with headless men missing their clothing also, or it just sexual exploitation of women that sells shoes?" another added.

"I don't need nudes to sell me shoes. Big no here."

Shoes have been slammed online

Ms Preston responded to the complaints questioning how the images, which feature a woman wearing nude underwear and only exposing her legs and torso, as being "exploitative".

"The images aren't exploitative- but if you choose to think they are that's your prerogative," she wrote.

"I understand that the use of the female body offends you but we are proud of our work and stand behind our beautiful shoot."

The designer's comments were met with support, with some users questioning why certain social media users were upset by the campaign.

"The world is a little crazy these days," one person wrote. "Can't do anything beautiful or creative without someone calling exploitation."

"I don't see the images as exploitation," another added.

"I think a lovely balance has been struck between the body and the shoes ... as the shoes are the main focus." has contacted Preston Zly Design for comment.

Topics:  brand sexualisation shoe social media

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