Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Is Nike cornering BAPE's market?

The Air Force 1 line has recently given us what I like to call the "Fruit Series". The shoes include the Kiwi, Pixie, and just recently dropped the Citrus (shoes pictured below in reverse order). The Fruit Series are patent leather Air Force 1 lows that featuring bright colorways much like the Bape's Bapesta shoe. Being that BAPE's shoe line has stolen the Air Force 1 design (let's be real), does Nike have the right to strike back and what will that mean for BAPE?

I personally think that Nike is going to try to move in on Bape's market being that the concept is so popular to a niche market right now. Nike has given up there opportunity to file a lawsuit against Bape, maybe because Bape's forged shoe design shows compliment and sets the Air Force 1 line as a benchmark (or a starting point depending on your p.o.v.) in this fast-paced sneaker game. There will be a handful of knock-offs, however there is only one Air Force 1, but how long will that last?

On the other end of the spectrum Bape has opened up a new market that Nike didn't see as a market to folks who either are tired of tradition colorways+material and/or just want to be different thus stand out from the crowd. Nike can either (1) totally going to ignore Bape like Microsoft did with Internet in the early 90's and play catch-up later on down the line, (2) looking at it as a fad Nike will let Bape lead that market while it piggybacks a little until is disappears (the "fad" that is), or (3) being that they are Nike they can take over that market by aligning and consulting themselves with the right people, like they did with Nike SB.

Overall there is enough room in the national and global market for all the sneaker companies in existence to do well in design and in profits. Smaller shoe companies like Bape and Greedy Genius keep the sneaker Goliath's on their toes by raising the bar, and most importantly they boost innovation while keeping it sleek, street, and sexy which is key in clothing and footwear game. PEACE!!!



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