Discovering the existence of a women's mesh tank dress inspired by the 1991 jerseys warn by the Soviet soccer team on Adidas' official site, the Lithuanian foreign ministry's Stratcom Twitter account shot off an angry tweet marking its disappointment with the clothing company.
The tweet prompted a tense Twitter debate, with users arguing about fashion sense, common sense, or going back into the details of 20th century history to try to get their point across.
I thought Ministry of Foreign Affairs isn't Fashion Police. But well, they know better about design of sportwear;)— Пётр Котовский (@kot_fisher) 6 мая 2018 г.
Who won against nazi germany? I would wear it with pride.— SuperFresh (@SuperValim87) 5 мая 2018 г.
Не удивлюсь, если в ответ на эту публикацию Adidas выпустит— ПВ (@RO0S31mG5VGVGe7) 6 мая 2018 г.
футболку с символикой Литовской ССР. Прикола ради.))
"I wouldn't be surprised if Adidas were to respond to this tweet by creating a jersey with the symbol of the Lithuanian SSR, just for the heck of it."
Sure, Lithuanian locals prefer swastikas and SS signs, adidas should have a collection for them, right?— Андрей Ковалёв (@A_Kovalyov) 6 мая 2018 г.
Adidas молодцы. Советский спорт добился многого. Дал много великих спортсменов. И эта серия одежды от Adidas — дань уважения спортивным достижениям многих поколений мужчин и женщин. А литовское посольство может и дальше бредить империей.— Н (@homowebius) 6 мая 2018 г.
"Well done Adidas. Soviet sport achieved a lot, and gave us many great athletes. With this series, Adidas is paying tribute to the sporting achievements of many generations of men and women. As for the Lithuanian [diplomats], they can continue to rave about the empire."
Opinion of country with population of Moscow district is very crucial for them, there’s no doubt. Listen, guys, don’t buy it if you don’t like it. And don’t disgrace yourself with silly statements, it’s ridiculous.— Помѣщикъ Кузякинъ (@kuzyakinj) 6 мая 2018 г.
The tweet, and Adidas' new clothing line, also sparked a debate among consumers.
Today I was choosing between adidas originals and nike cortez. Thank you @adidas for helping to choose nike!— Sigitas Kaciusis (@KaciusisSigitas) 5 мая 2018 г.
One user even trolled the foreign ministry with a photo of Arvydas Sabonis, who is considered to be one of the best European basketball players of all time, and happens to be an ethnic Lithuanian former member of the Soviet national team.
I can't discern what it says on the shirt of Lithuanian's greatest… pic.twitter.com/52BE5fLax4— Zak Azimo IV (@donzakbass) 6 мая 2018 г.
Adidas' offering of Soviet-branded clothing items includes jerseys, mash-up jerseys, and layer tees, all of them featuring the characteristic red and white Soviet color scheme, and the letters 'USSR' imprinted on the front. In Lithuania, the use of Soviet symbols is banned in public, and subject to steep fines of between 144 and 289 euros.
Earlier this year, Adidas CEO Kasper Rorsted told German media he knows Russia well and likes the country, adding that sanctions have harmed the West just as much as they have Russia.