Nike wants to stop sneaker customizers
For years, artists have bought Nikes and added elaborate designs to wear and resell them. These customs have helped young entrepreneurs build strong businesses and brands of their own. However, lately, Nike has been aggressively cracking down. In their lawsuit against Drop Creationz, their lawyer said to CBS MoneyWatch that the company's "goal is to help ensure consumers are able to buy our products that are both authentic and authorized by us and there is no confusion for consumers."
In the latest lawsuit, Nike has sued John Geiger's companies, John Geiger Co and La La Land Production and Design Inc, claiming John's new "GF-01" sneaker infringes on the Air Force 1's trade dress.
The defiant creator went to his Instagram to give a very public statement about the matter, saying that he has "been very clear through two years of manufacturing and selling the GF-01 that it was inspired by Nike, and also made sure that anyone purchasing the shoe is aware that it is a designer shoe crafted with higher materials and quality, along with my trademark and changes to the silhouette."
As this is a developing story, we will need to watch the case as it will directly affect the strong market for custom sneakers. When evaluating these matters, a good thing to keep in mind is that customizers usually buy their base sneakers at retail. So, these customs could be argued to be more of a benefit to Nike than a detriment.