Shoe brand cops heat on social media for “ridiculous sexualisation”

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.

“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.

“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?”

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.”

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