Remember the good old days when the bad guy would just snap a pair of pantyhose over his head before he robbed a store?
Today, apparently, that would not be considered his “dress for success” look.
Though he might need to rob a store to afford that look.
And here it is: the Nike X MMW balaclava:
Yes, this is the latest in criminal headgear, at least according to myriad people who took to social media to denounce it in August:
“This is a disgrace,” tweeted one. “Disgusting gang culture for profit.”
Another wrote, “Hey @Nike what are you thinking with this image on your website? You’re not allowed to be this stupid.”
From yet another tweet, “Endorsing gun and knife crime, as well as enforcing racial profiling.”
And on Facebook, “Absolutely menacing…quite inciteful.”
Here’s where I get confused. In the image above the model is wearing the Nike balaclava, and appears to have something slung around his neck and hanging over his shoulders. Many on social media likened it to a holster for carrying weapons.
However, on the Alyx Studio website, which includes the item in its offerings, a different model wearing the same balaclava appears to have no holster as part of his ensemble:
And while the product description says it’s “Equipped with a pocket for small items,” it says nothing about a holster.
So I guess Nike “dressed up” the model with a holster to…what?
Nike isn’t saying, but they did respond to the social media storm by saying, in part,
“We are in no way condoning or encouraging the serious issue of criminal and gang culture,” and removing the balaclava from its website.
It’s sold out on the Alyx Studio website.
So I guess the bad guys will have to hang on to their pantyhose – it may be awhile before they can dress for success.
But if you think Nike is embarrassed – I have to deal with my embarrassment at not knowing what a balaclava was, when my husband read the Nike article and queried me about it.
I are a wordsmith, after all.
“Balaclava is that hair coloring stuff that’s supposed to give you a blended, natural look,” I said confidently.
He disagreed, saying that didn’t make sense with the rest of the article. I went online for verification: Whoops, the hair coloring stuff is balayage.
“Then it’s that Russian stringed instrument?” I said less confidently.
Wrong again. The Russian instrument is a balalaika.
More research revealed the meaning and origin of balaclava:
Headgear worn originally by soldiers serving in the Crimean War (1853-1856), named after the village of Balaclava in the Crimea.
So now I know better.
I hope Nike does, too.