*My Opinion…on everything*

The young adult take on the world…

Racist Advertisements from K-swiss sneaker brand April 2, 2008

Filed under: kswiss,teen vogue — opiniondiva52 @ UTCpm2530UTCWed, 02 Apr 2008 20:42:25 +00004 2530pm402pmWed, 02 Apr 2008 20:42:25 +000002 304204UTC
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okay so i was reading through the April 2008 issue of Teen Vogue and i stumbled upon this ad. It shows a caucasion blonde woman with blue eyes and in bold white letters it says KEEP IT PURE. Now for some reason this ad didnt sit well with me because that is something that hitler or the Nazis would say or even the KKK would say. Keep the race pure. Well i looked up some stuff on the net and i also found out that Kswiss also refuses to use black models. As an african american teen this really offends me! Keep it pure. Now some people may argue that this statement was taken out of context but i deeply disagree. This in my opinion is called subtle racism. A hint of an idea about what they mean but in some ways it makes you wonder well maybe its not racist. So from this day on i am boycotting Kswiss. They refuse to use black models for their ads and TV commercials, but yet they want to sell to the black community or the minority community. Well this is all i have to say but like i mentioned before i found this article in TEEN VOGUE. Which is a mag where hardly any african americans are found throughout the pages of the mag or on the cover. just keep that in mind next time you pick up a magazine or shop for sneakers what type of group you are supporting with that purchase.


32 Responses to “Racist Advertisements from K-swiss sneaker brand”

  1. Tom Says:

    One of K-Swiss’ main spokespersons is Sebastian Foucan, the founder of free running. He is black. Your information appears to be incorrect.

  2. opiniondiva52 Says:

    actually i am not incorrect. The editor in chief in vogue magazine is a black man too and vogue never puts black models on their cover, with the exception of 3 people. So just because your black doesnt mean u r going to suport the right things

  3. David Perko Says:

    REALLY? Vogue NEVER puts black people on their cover.. oh with the exception of 3 people? get over it you really went through the history of vogue just to see if there was a black person on any of the covers?- highly doubt it
    I am sick and tired of people overreacting about things that are not true. Expecially this racism crap. I AM BLACK and deal with listening to people ramble on all the time about how we are treated unfairly. This isnt the 50’s!! No crap you are going to see more white people here in America, we didn’t come here until about 500 years after them!!!! So please get over yourselves and stop making our race look like a bunch of complaining idiots.

  4. opiniondiva52 Says:

    oh well, its the year 2008 and black people and minorities in general arent being treated fairly or getting the same oppurtunities pick up a new paper, watch the news, read a history book. and until the day we get treated right ima keep writing about it.


  5. Annie Says:

    Yes, you said “with the exception of 3 people.” Therefore they HAVE used black models?!

  6. opiniondiva52 Says:

    think about it though 3 black models out of thousands of white models…. that hit the covers over the many years vogue has been in stores….it doesnt compare.

  7. Tom Says:

    I may not have been clear with my earlier response. Sebastien Foucan (my apology for my previous misspelling) is an athlete featured prominently in K-Swiss advertisements. (See http://www.kswiss.com/content/free_running/). He is featured in their new free running commercial, which can be previewed at http://www.kswiss.com/content/free_running/. You will notice that this commercial ends with the phrase “Keep It Pure.” The fact that the phrase is being used in connection with an athlete who is not white would indicate that the phrase is being used to refer to keeping something pure rather than race. Is it possible that the reference is to keeping one’s athleticism pure?
    With one of their two television commercials in their current advertising campaign featuring a black man, K-Swiss has shown a significant commitment to recognizing and celebrating black athletes.
    To lump K-Swiss in with the heinous organizations mentioned above is patently unfair to K-Swiss. There are many organizations that deserve our disdain for policies that exclude blacks or people of color, but K-Swiss does not appear to be one of them.

  8. opiniondiva52 Says:

    Tom i understand what u are trying to say but based on this ad, there is a caucasion blonde hair blue eye woman with the words “keep it pure”. First off whats the purpose of the ad saying “keep it pure”. There is such a thing as subtle racism, Something that isnt as blatent but obviously meaning somenthing. Maybe ur not getting what i am trying to say. The ad in my opinion is racist.

  9. Tom Says:

    Anna Kournikova is a well known tennis player, and is the woman featured in the advertisement. You will notice on the K-Swiss website that the caption for her television commercial reads “Pure Sport”.
    I am simply suggesting that you may be reading too much into the advert in Teen Vogue.
    Are the ads featuring Mr. Foucan and ending with the “Keep It Pure” theme racist, or the ad with Mr. Foucan featured at http://www.kswiss.com/content/advertising/#/ads/0/ with “Keep It Pure” across the front of the ad in the form of a watermark racist?
    Each instance of the use of “Keep It Pure” seems to strengthen the argument that pure sport is the campaign’s theme.

  10. LeslieC Says:

    There’s a huge billboard on my way to work with a black man leaping, a big photo of his face, and the words “Keep it pure” along with the K-Swiss logo. Clearly, 1) K-Swiss DOES use black models, and 2) the motto clearly refers to sport, given the context.

    Yes, racism exists. But not in this ad campaign. You’re going to have to use another example to support your argument.

  11. LeslieC Says:

    And since when is Anna Wintour a black man?!! You don’t make a very credible argument when you make these kinds of statements.

  12. nic Says:

    Please do some research before you accuse people of something so ridiculous…

    I was the model in the new kswiss advert with Sebastian Foucan. I can understand why you’d think that, but for starters, like someone else said, they use Foucan in another ad where it says ‘keep it pure’ and secondly, when I was working on the set, I got to meet some people from kswiss. One of the guys called Darrell is one of the most senior members of the whole brand, and he’s black. There were also several other black and ethnic minorities working there.

    I understand what you’re saying but seriously… don’t you think you’re over analyzing?

  13. JQueue Says:

    Racists tend to look for racism. I see a young woman not a ‘white’ woman.

    Maybe “Purity of virtue” , as a double entendre in conjunction with the purity of simplistic design. Though most advertisers use purity as an expresion of the impure, many would see that as the nature before the suspected racial innuendo sought by the poster.

  14. Ezmae Says:

    Dude get over it. Do ever think that blacks don’t want to model? Im half black half white and im proud to say leave the modeling to the anerexic white girls. Do you know they have black only beauty pagents? talk about racist, girl you need to get over your insecurities.

  15. opiniondiva52 Says:

    that is a ridiculous and ignorant comment…leave the modeling to white anorexics…? and also i applaud black pageants but like i said its MISS AMERICA. America does not mean white only. We had to make black pageants so that we could be recognized as beautiful to, but in the year 2008…people of all races should be recognized…its only fair

  16. VogueMgmt Says:

    I wish to comment on the observations of opiniondiva52. Vogue has had approximately 128 African American or Black models have appeared on the cover of vogue in our 116 year history. In respect to the modeling industry there is clearly a higher ratio of Caucasian models to African American models, however, I’m sure the reader identified does not expect Vogue to police the industry.

    The above advertisement profiles Anna Kournikova, a world-class Tennis player. The Ad’s tag line has nothing to do with racism, but about the purity of sport, and the purity of play. That is, if you love it, the purity of the support is all you need – no gimmicks, no fluff – just sport. To suggest this has racist overtones is sadly ignorant.

    Thanks you

  17. opiniondiva52 Says:

    This was found in Teen Vogue, not Vogue…and i still stick to what i stated in my blog.

  18. jojo Says:

    in the spirit of freedom of speech, I would like to comment:
    what a sad, pathetic young girl you are, miss diva…
    so much anger, such pigheadedness…
    what a waste…

    even after a number of clarifications in the comments, you still stick to your opinion that K-Swiss and Teen Vogue discriminate against blacks/colored people/minorities. The only person you haven’t included in your comment may be Miss Kournikova. Perhaps you also blame her for being a popular, beautiful, young white girl?

    btw, where did you get the fact that Teen Vogue never featured a black person on the cover? somewhere deep in your clouded mind?

    you know what else is funny? your own ambiguity.
    in your early comments, you didn’t even bother to say Teen Vogue. You said Vogue twice.
    “The editor in chief in vogue magazine is a black man”
    “3 black models out of thousands of white models that hit the covers over the many years vogue has been in stores”
    But then things suddenly changed:
    “This was found in Teen Vogue, not Vogue”
    And that, in my book, is an embarassing attempt of self defense…

    it’s embarassing enough that you didn’t get your statements right, your stubborn decision to stick to your opinion/comments, you look like a complaining idiot. And that, in turn, might make people think even more that blacks are a bunch of complaining idiots. Now that won’t do you no good, will it?

    Come on girl, it’s an ad campaign. When you’re not sure and you don’t have hard evidence, give people the benefit of the doubt. It’s not like they’re saying Keep The Race Pure. Aren’t you familiar with serial ad campaign?
    1. Keep It Pure
    (you’re wondering: keep what pure?)
    2. Pure Sport
    (oh that’s what…)
    Well, in my opinion, who needs purity? The world would be so boring if everything is to be kept pure. But hey, you need a tagline for your ad campaign? I have no problem with pure.
    What is pure sport anyway? Can anybody at K-Swiss elaborate on that? Describe in details what that is?
    Are you kidding me? Ad taglines are not meant to be described. They are meant to grab your attention (aside from the fabulous looking model) and then you are left to imagine what that tagline represents.

    You keep accusing the ad as subtle racism.
    Well, seems the only thing subtle here is your subtle racism prejudice, miss diva…

    Yes, racism still exists. No doubt racism is prevalent even nowadays, but negative thoughts and prejudice like this would only make racism more difficult to eradicate. In fact, the only person who sounds like a racist in this entire page is you, miss diva.
    Maybe it’s true that racists tend to look for racism.

    Seems you’re still clinging to the past and won’t let go of the thought that your race is still treated unfairly.
    Well, guess what: when you keep thinking negative thoughts, your fears will materialize in reality.
    So put your mind into a more positive gear: by getting rid of my negative thoughts on raciscm, I will rid the world of racism one thought at a time. By becoming a more open-minded, likeable, nice person, I will make my world better with less and less racism.

    btw, a thought on modelling and miss america and stuff like that:
    1 in every 5 people is chinese/mongoloid.
    But not 1 in every model in the world is chinese/mongoloid.
    I live in jakarta, indonesia, which has a population of more than 200 million. And are the models in ads for international brands mostly Indonesians?
    Strangely, caucasian models sell better.
    And in haute couture fashion, skinny models sell.
    (except swimsuits/bikini/lingerie need busty, voluptuous models… hehehe… depends on your purpose…)
    Hey, it’s all business, girl…
    Whatever sells more of your clothes/shoes/whatever it is you’re trying to sell…

    And you already have black miss america, right?
    (Don’t ask me how many there are, that takes a bit of research for me and I don’t care enough to do that…)

  19. opiniondiva52 Says:

    Dont you sound like a babling idiot, your long story still made me feel the way i felt and your feeble attempt to insult and demean me and my people and im not taling about black people i am talking about people of color,,,your attempt did nothing. Your type of simple minded thinking is what keeps the world stuck in its ways. Have a nice day and next time try and keep the comment to a reasonable lenght. I have a life you know and i dont want to spend it reading your comment. Thanks and come again 🙂

  20. opiniondiva52 Says:

    please jojo get a life and stop commenting on my blog 🙂 thanks

  21. Jennifer Says:

    In this ad, the “Keep it Pure” logo was eerily reminiscent of Hitler’s plan to exterminate all the Jews and blacks and other “inferior” races according to Social-Darwinism, and spread the “pure, master, Aryan race,” by force, across the globe. I understand that brands and labels want to come up with interesting, fresh, catchy taglines, but I consider K-Swiss’ decision to run this PARTICULAR ad, (As in, white, blonde girl with the logo) in a magazine for TEEN GIRLS to be ethically irresponsible. Anyone who hasn’t been living under a ROCK would see exactly what opiniondiva52 saw and be at the very least, uncomfortable, if not, like myself, extremely offended. I am certain the ad-designers weren’t naive enough to NOT see how the racial implications of this ad TRULY looked…

  22. Valerie Says:

    Your information is incorrect k-swiss has used many black people in their ads, you should read more ads and look up your information more deeply before writing a controversial statement that is incorrect.

  23. some people see shapes &&animals in the sky. that doesn’t mean they’re actually there. no offense, but i think you’re taking this ad way too literally. your opinion is obviously uninformed, and your statements irresponsible; frivolous. i’m not saying racism doesn’t exist. but, in this case: i believe you are hurting your own cause. don’t create obstacles for yourself! start thinking outside the box, hun. this world will eat you alive..


  24. Krystal Says:

    How interesting…. Now I find this comical- I feel no sympathy towards you, nor an other blacks. YES, slavery happened- awful? YES! Thirteenth Amendment on December 18, 1865. This was to ensure that human slavery never happened again. Now that was 144 YEARS AGO. So, get over it.

    Read up on it too- *ahem* did you know that “blacks” we’re the ones rounding them up to be placed on the boat? ***GASP***

    With all of the “Latino/Black/Asian/Etc. Pride” Groups/Clubs/SCHOLARSHIPS/Schools/Etc. YOU even have a better opportunity to get into college with worse grades because you’re a “minority”. Is that fair? I would be passed up at UM with a weighted 4.3 GPA to 3.5 “(insert minority here)”. I went to a school where “white” was the “minority”- so I feel NO sympathy. I over came the pressure, mocking, and belittling all because of my “race”. I am in my 2nd year at NOVA Medical School. Oh and there is special scholarships, now if I started a scholarship fund with the line “A white mind- is a terrible thing to waste” “national caucasian scholarship fund” I would be crucified.

    How is that fair?

    Answer me!

    Oh- just to “clear the air” my family immigrated here around 1890’s so I honestly don’t feel bad, at all.

  25. opiniondiva52 Says:

    In responce to “kyrstal”s comment, i have to say that i find your comment slightly ignorant. Me as an african american will never forgot slavery, although slavery was abolished in 1865, pick up any history book and you will see that african americans or any one of color was treated unfaily after. Poll taxes, jim crow laws it was the 1950’s and 60’s where people of color had seperate establishments and forget about oppurtunities such as college and high paying jobs..we werent even looked at.So when you mention about scholarships for minorities, you are mentioning something that is new and needed. I am not saying that white people DONT need scholarships because they do, just like dont assume all black or hispanic people NEED scholarships. Do i think its fair that i may be accepted into a school simply because i am black? no i dont but at the same time, our country has been trying to find ways i guess to ” pay back” the hardships…no matter how long ago it was…it was still there and believe it or not they have scholarships for caucasions…they have scholarships for everyone so stop being ignorant and open your eyes to reality because the reality is…this country has along way to go as far as race relations…AND I STILL STICK TO MY OPINION ON THIS AD, but based on other comments ( not yours) i feel that i may have misinterpreted or over analzyed the ad..i do say that much

  26. Louise Says:

    In regard to the above ad – perhaps they should have ran the ad with another race too just so there was no affense caused. Obviously the creatives must have seen this coming…

    BUT Diva you do seem to be clutching onto the past. How long are we to endure your hatred towards whites for what happened generations ago? I wasn’t alive when it happened so why should i still get endure the reprecussions for something I had no say in?

    Perhaps let the past be just that..by constantly dragging it up your attitude acts to reinforce rascial hatred.

  27. opiniondiva52 Says:

    Louise, i never stated that i hate white people in fact i have many white friends, but the fact is that when i wrote this article i felt that there was a undertone of racism…i agree that they could have shown a different race along with the white girl in the ad…to make it less “racist”…but the fact is let me set the record straight!! i am not anti white…i just felt that the AD…that i found in TEEN VOGUE had RACIST UNDERTONES…simple as that…

  28. opiniondiva52 Says:

    oh and lastly i will never forget what white people did to my ancestors back in the day…but at the same time i wont blame you specifically because obviously you wasnt there…nor was you the cause of it…

  29. steph Says:

    diva… your the reason racism still exists … whites have moved on and shown numerous times that they no longer beleive in singling groups out .. example. Black president! wake up the ad clearly has nothing to do with racism but hey if you can find one ad out of a million that you can ignorintly attempt to prove has racism in it good for you keep it up and keep bringing our race down …

  30. Me Says:

    I find it hilarious when white people say something as dumb and ignorant as “How long are we to endure your hatred towards whites for what happened generations ago? I wasn’t alive when it happened so why should i still get endure the repercussions for something I had no say in?” You were not around during slavery in this country, but you benefit from that slavery today. We all do actually. Slaves, i.e. free labor is what made this country a significant economic super power. Think about it. The money generated by slave labor was all profit. Not only southern slave owners, but every American (yes even Northerners) benefited from the free labor of slaves. Today whites still benefit from something called institutional racism. For instance, many whites have accumulated wealth due to something called the G.I. Bill, which made it very easy for whites to become home owners and accumulate wealth that they could then pass down from generation to generation. Of course blacks were left out. Whites have had a huge head start over people of color, especially blacks. White privilege is a real thing and it is something that all whites should learn about and acknowledge.

  31. opiniondiva52 Says:

    I would like to make a statement about this article, having been written a while ago…with a different mindset and a more immature view of the world we live in, i will not say that we live in a completely non racist world but advertisements as such shouldnt be taken out of context i still stand with the idea that more black models should be represented as a whole ( when i say black i also mean all people of color, hispanic as well) whether its magazines, runways or commercials i feel like we are under represented and when writing this article i was in a different type of mindset that i am today, being fair i allowed many comments to be posted to this article, some rude and ignorant others just a matter of opinion. I will no longer be accepting comments to this article because i feel like it does not represent my views, but it did at one point, that is why i will not take it down. I thank you for your comments, but i will no longer be posting them…its been a year now…so yea

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