TIME Opinion

‘Husband Hunting’ Shoes? Nine West’s Bizarre New Ad Campaign

Nine West

Also shoes for dropping your kids off at school. But those are the only two "shoe occasions."

If you’re just sitting at your desk like a normal person, you better not be wearing shoes, because this is not a shoe occasion. According to Nine West’s website, “shoe occasions” are “Starter Husband Hunting” and “First Day of Kindergarten.” At other times you might have to resort to wrapping your feet in paper towels fastened with rubber bands you stole off broccoli at the grocery store. No shoes for you!

Maybe this promotional campaign was meant ironically, but under the “collections” section of the retailer’s website you will find specific “shoe occasions,” and there are only two. Finding a “starter” husband (the hot, rich kind, not the beer-belly kind, obviously) and the first day of kindergarten (for the mom, not the kid) In other words, Nine West shoes appear to be created only women looking for a man or taking care of kids. Because that’s what women mostly do, right Nine West?

Each “shoe occasion” also comes with mini-pep talk and related imagery. For “Starter Husband Hunting,” the well-shoed model is posing in front of a bullseye with some arrows (Cupid’s bow?) and the accompanying text says:

Go get ‘em, tiger. Whether you’re looking for Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now… we got a shoe for that.

For “First Day of Kindergarten,” the fashionable mom is surrounded by used tissues, and the text says:

The bus arrives and so do the waterworks. Then it hits you: Mommy now has the weeks off. Wipe those happy-sad tears… we got a shoe for that.

Note that Mommy “has the weeks off,” so probably that starter husband she found is the one buying her all these Nine West shoes.

The best part of the Nine West “shoe occasions” is how the name of each shoe matches up to its stated purpose. For example, the “Starter Husband Hunting” collection includes lots of red leather and leopard print, with names like “Meowww Peep Toe Platform Booties” or “Love Fury Platform Heels” or “Jealouseye Pointy Toe Pumps.” Not sure how the “Lobster Smoking Slippers” got in there, unless Nine West thinks women are hunting for starter husbands on the Titanic.

The shoes Nine West recommends for dropping off your kid at Kindergarten have even better names, and are just as impractical. You can wear your “Tiptoe Black Peeptoe Booties” to a playdate with your 5 year old, never mind they’re almost 5 inches tall. There’s also the “Foodie Monk Strap Loafers,” because moms are celibate and love eating, and the “Disheveled Platform Booties,” also over 4 inches tall, because moms are always glamorously disheveled, amiright ladies? The “Lobster Smoking Slippers” make another inexplicable appearance. No clogs.

Nine West did not respond to requests for an explanation of the new campaign.

Nine West

 

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser