Starter Husband Hunter, Walk of Shame and First Day of Kindergarten are momentous shoe-purchasing occasions that should be celebrated...according to Nine West. The shoe brand clearly didn't take a page out of Pantene,Always and Barbie's recent ad campaigns, which have championed women to empower themselves rather than sexualize and minimize their accomplishments. Straight from their Twitter feed:
Don't women have more important life occasions than snagging a husband--oops, 'starter' husband--and sending their tot off to school? Nine West states this type of message is all in good fun, and that consumers should not take the advertisement too seriously. Yet consumers on Twitter have expressed discomfort with the campaign's portrayal of women. Mary Lynne Alexion tweeted:
Nine West's senior vice president of marketing, Erika Szychowski, told the New York Times that the campaign is meant to modernize the brand to women who think about "occasions" differently than they might have in years past. A night-on-the-town shoe, for example, would now be considered an on-the-prowl shoe. The company also plans to advertise shoes for an "anticipatory walk of shame."
Wouldn't a shoe collection including First Day on the Job, Boardroom Booties, Job Hunting,
Power Pump or Start-Up Sandal be more appropriate and inspiring? After all, Nine West is a shoe brand that plenty of women look to for career-appropriate footwear.
Long gone are the days when women do little else besides stay at home with the kids. Women make up almost 70 million members of the US workforce, and are graduating at higher rates than men. Let's hope another designer understands what women really want, and creates a show collection and ad campaign that celebrates their achievements and gives them career confidence.