Jeff Staple Stands Up for Warren Lotas Amid Legal Battle with Nike
The sneaker world’s most talked about legal battle in recent memory – Warren Lotas vs. Nike – is far from a conclusion, but that hasn’t stopped Jeff Staple from weighing in. The designer of the famed Nike SB Dunk Low ‘Pigeon’, which inspired Lotas’ initial bootleg creation, Staple has remained tight-lipped regarding the legal proceedings, but he finally broke his silence on Benjamin Kickz’s YouTube show Sneaker Talk.
‘I’m always a fan of DIY bootleg culture. I just love it,’ said Staple. ‘That’s how Staple started. To me, that’s where true creativity happens.’
Having worked directly with Lotas on sneakers embroiled in the controversy, Staple appeared to defend the LA-based creative, acknowledging the complicated nature of the business.
‘I can see the perspective on both sides, but I will say that brands have always pushed the culture forward and it’s always been uncomfortable for certain parties… When Bathing Ape first put out the BAPE STA, pulled the Swoosh off an Air Force 1 and put something that looked like a Swoosh and a star, it was the OG heads that was like, “Fuck that, that’s wack, that’s basically a bootleg”. Japanese heads were like, “Nah that’s dope. That’s Nigo.” And, of course now Bape is like a multi, probably almost a billion-dollar company. They can’t be stopped at this point.’
According to Staple, there’s a clear distinction between customisers and those who deal in counterfeits, with Lotas falling into the category of the former.
‘No one’s buying a Shoe Surgeon or Warren Lotas shoe to trick their friends. It’s a different thing. You don’t go to warenlotas.com, add a $300 item to your cart and be like “Ah, he tricked me, man. I thought these were the Pigeons. I thought these were the Stussys.”’
You can check out the entire interview below!