June 17, 2010
The Buddhist Channel reports that Keds is promoting a new line of shoes called "Tibetan Buddhist Shoes," which will feature images of the Dalai Lama and the Buddha, among other sacred Buddhist images. Though it is unclear whether the shoes are being made by Keds, or by a shoe company called Zazzle, to many, the use of such iconography is deeply troubling. From The Buddhist Channel:
It is beyond one's imagination as how the designers of a multinational company come to such an idea. Worst still is the fact that Keds mass-produce and mass market them in their stores and online. If a designer comes up with an idea to put Holy Bible or images of Christ or for that matter Prophet Muhammad and Koran, the people concerned at Keds would have vehemently opposed it.
In the Spring issue of Tricycle we ran a joke advertisement for "The Guru Dunk Double Pack," which featured Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama's faces on Nike hightops and promised "Peace in Every Step." Maybe Keds took our joke too literally.
Top image courtesy of www.thebuddhistchannel.com
Bottom image courtesy of Isaiah Serte, Gesar Mukpo and Alex Usow.