We called it.
Just a few days after Nike caught the social media backlash from both Puerto Rican sneakerheads and sneakerheads who’re familiar with the Latino culture for their latest “Borinquen” inspired Air Force 1’s, the company has announced they’re canceling the release of the controversial design.
According to La Monde (just hit the translate button) the Kuna Indians of Panama accused Nike of “copying” their sacred and traditional “Mola” designs and plastering it on their “Puerto Rican” inspired Air Force 1’s. So now not only are Puerto Ricans bothered that Nike confused their culture with that of Panama’s, but now Panamanians are tight that Nike culture-vultured their traditional art form to cash in on Puerto Rican pride. Who was in charge of this design over there? Donald Trump?! Ok, that was a bit harsh but we’re just saying this was a major snafu.
According to community lawyers, the design of these sports shoes – a limited edition of the Air Force 1 model – is inspired by the “molas” , a richly colored, traditional art of the Kuna people.
The latter, who accused the US giant of infringement of intellectual property, claimed that the sale of these sneakers, which were to be marketed on June 6 at a price of 100 dollars a pair, be suspended. They won their case.
On the low, we’re happy about this.
Aside from that frog, nothing about that designs screams “Puerto Rico! Hoooo!”
Nike recognized that they were all kinds of out of pocket with this one and apologized for their missteps.
“We apologize for the inaccurate representation of the origin of the design of the Nike Air Force 1” Puerto Rico “2019. As a result, this product will not be available” for sale, reacted a spokesman for the company interviewed by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
On a related note we wouldn’t be mad if Nike donated the thousands of pairs of this sneaker that they might’ve already manufactured to the people of Panama. That would be better than just throwing them out or having their employees making a quick buck on the secondary market bubbling some “unreleased” Air Force 1’s.