The io9 site reported today that after weeks of hype, Reebok released a special limited edition version of the shoes worn by iconic monster-slayer Ellen Ripley in Aliens. The retailer only sold 426 pairs online in honor of the planet on which the movie was set –LV-426 — plus the sale occurred on their self-proclaimed “Alien Day,” 4/26. As you’d imagine, fans snapped them up in minutes.
The catch? The stylish stompers were only available in men’s sizes. Not a typo, people, just plain, old-school sexism wrapped in a blanket of purest marketing — all of which was aimed right at that most coveted of demographics, the 18-to-34-year-old male. Because apparently young men don’t have enough stuff marketed to them.
Besides, why would a woman want to buy merchandise related to one of cinema’s greatest female heroes? Why wouldn’t she, Reebok execs never asked themselves in a moment of deepest self-reflection, which would have simultaneously revealed to them both the shortcomings of their sales strategy and also the hollow tissues of comforting lies that are their lives.
What Reebok management needs is some tough talk from none other than Ripley herself, for which she could simply recycle some of her hard-assed Aliens dialogue: “You know, Burke, I don’t know which species is worse. You don’t see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.”
UPDATE: io9 says that Reebok now claims that the shoes are a unisex model, and that the sizes were miscategorized on their US site as a men’s style only. However, evidence of supposed smaller sizes appropriate to women’s feet is yet to be forthcoming.