Nike VS Bape. Sneaker designs compared, it’s off to court.
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

Date

Inspired by Japanese streetwear culture, the sneakers have always featured bright colors and often with patent leather uppers; while having a very similar design to the Air Force 1, the shoe is distinguished by BAPE's trendmark "STA" logo.

After 23 years, the company sues Nigo for copying the Air Force 1.

For many years, precisely twenty-three, many have wondered why Nike never took legal action against A Bathing Ape – BAPE, the Japanese streetwear brand headed by Nigo that in 2000 created the Bape Sta: a sneaker that resembles – in every way – the iconic Nike Air Force 1.

The controversy has re-ignited in recent years, when Nigo accused several independent sneaker brands of copying the design of the Air Jordan 1, Air Force 1 and Dunk.

Most recently, Kool Kiy and Omi were the destitters of an infringement lawsuit by Nike for their overly similar sneaker designs.

Nike took Kool Kiy and Omi designers to court for faithfully copying Air Jordan 1s OG
Air Jordan 1 OG copied by Kool Kiy and Omi.

 

Now the issue also involves Bape: the two are heading for a showdown in court.

Last Wednesday, Jan. 25, Nike filed the lawsuit against Bape and Nigo in a Manhattan federal court, accusing the designer of copying his designs down to the smallest detail: a graphic presented at the trial compares the desgins of one and the other brand, with the corresponding sneaker names:

  • Bape Sta = Air Force 1
  • Bape Sta Mid = Air Force 1 Mid
  • Sk8 Sta = Dunk Low
  • Court Sta High = Air Jordan 1
  • Court Sta = Air Jordan 1 Low
Nike and Bape, two designs confront each other in court.
The original prospectus submitted by Nike against Nigo’s Bape Sta.

Born in 2000, the Bape Sta is Bape’s flagship sneakers: a shoe that has become legendary thanks to the limited runs of each release and collaborations with artists, musicians and brands, here are the most unforgettable ones:

  • A Bathing Ape x Marvel Comics – 2005

  • A Bathing Ape x KAWS ‘Chomper’ – 2006

  • A Bathing Ape x Daft Punk – 2005

  • A Bathing Ape x N.E.R.D. – 2006

  • A Bathing Ape x Hajime Sorayama – 2021

  • A Bathing Ape x UNKLE – 2003

  • A Bathing Ape x Kanye West – 2007

Inspired by Japanese streetwear culture, the sneakers have always featured bright colors and often with patent leather uppers; while having a very similar design to the Air Force 1, the shoe is distinguished by BAPE’s trendmark “STA” logo.

As for the question we’ve all been asking, however, of why Nike waited 23 years before suing BAPE, the Beaverton-based company has shut down just these days that the news has always been inaccurate: back in 2009 Nike met with Nigo to discuss designs, resulting in the closure of major Bape stores in the States, and significantly reduced the iport of the products in the country.

In 2016, Nigo redesigned the Bape Sta to move away from the Air Force 1 design, but – conversely – reintroduced the original version of the silhouette in 2021.

At that point, according to Nike, BAPE “dramatically increased the volume and scope of its infringement against him,” refusing, moreover, to stop selling the infringing shoes when asked.

Nike asked the court to prohibit Nigo from selling the trainers, in addition to this, an unspecified amount of money.

How the battle that has just begun between Nike and Bape will end is still too early to tell, in the meantime let us know what you think.

Read also: “BAPE: 5 primates of the brand that defined Streetwear.”

More
articles

Join
Pluriverse

Subscribe to our newsletter

© Pluriverse 2024
Registered office: Via Romaniello 21/B, Napoli (NA), Italy | N. REA: NA 823189
Privacy