Nike recently found itself in hot water with the US Postal Service when images of its unreleased Air Force 1 Experimental sneakers were leaked.
The shoes clearly borrow elements from the US Postal Service’s Priority Mailbox. The red, white and blue colour scheme, and the sticker label featured on the back of the shoe are design cues obviously inspired by the USPS.
The Postal Service caught hold of this, and they were not pleased. In an official statement, it explained that it receives no tax dollars and relies solely on postage and the sales of merchandise for its day-to-day operations. It even said it “would take whatever action deemed necessary to protect its intellectual property.”
Nike is a multi-billion dollar sportswear giant, while the US Postal Service has struggled to stay afloat with the changes in government funding.
Not long ago, Nike had sued the Brooklyn-based company MSCHF over the release of the satan-inspired Air Max 97s in collaboration with the Old Time Road rapper Lil Nas X. So releasing a shoe inspired by the USPS without proper authorisation seemed quite hypocritical.
However, the two parties came to a resolution outside of court and the sneakers have now been officially licensed by the USPS for release.