I haven’t read all there is to read about Nike suing it’s former star designers, Denis Dekovic, Marc Dolce and Mark Miner, nor do I know all details of the allegations against the three Adi-signer. However, this is my loosely informed and speculative take on the ordeal.
The trio announced they we’re going to work for Adidas earlier this year and of course the news spread throughout the business, design and and sneaker industries like wildfire. It was such huge news becuase these dudes are considered heavy hitters in footwear design. Their work includes Air Penny V, Nike Barkleyposite, Nike Magista, and the Nike Free Run.
Why is Nike suing (the claims)?
- They were working as consultants with Adidas while still working for them, which violates their non-compete agreements.
- They copied designs and business documents from their computers
- The Brooklyn Design Studio they started for Adidas is a rip off of their Innovation Kitchen design lab
- They shared industry secrets
These claims are a valid reasons to file a lawsuit, aside from the design lab copying thing (people have similar ideas all the time). However, there’s always more the the story.
- Did their non-compete agreements breakdown the type of work that they weren’t allowed to do? Was it just design or are they forbidden to do any kind of work for a competitor, including being the janitor?
- If they were going to violate this agreement why not go all the way and design? Why just consult?
- Is copying information from your work-related laptop alone violation of the agreement or is it only when certain information copied? I’m sure they’ve copied information before for some reason or another, which means it has to be proven that they used the information to compete. Copying alone can’t constitute a lawsuit can it?
- Lets assume they had to show their portfolio of work to Adidas in order to be hired. If they were the designers of the “secretive” technology used in Nike products, then it seems that just showing their body of work would technically be sharing secrets. So did they sign some kind of agreement saying they weren’t allowed to display “Nike design work” as their own?
- How innovative is the Innovation Kitchen if once a designer leaves they can overthrow Nike by simply copying it?
- If they we’re innovative enough to work in the Innovation Kitchen, why have they lost all creativity to the point that they must steal and copy now?
Stuff making Nike look sus
- Nike let Kanye go and Adidas picked him up
They also have….
- Rita Ora
- Jeremy Scott
- Yohji Yamamoto – Y-3
- Nigo – Bape
- The NBA
Nike has (Just newer names. I know they have Jordan, LeBron, Kobe & KD too)…
I like Nike as a brand. My favorite shoes of all time are all by Nike. I still buy Nike’s and I’m not going to act like this is some shabby brand. Nike is the absolute best in the industry today as far as numbers are concerned.
So, even though I don’t know why Nike feels as confident as they do about pursuing a lawsuit, I know they’re a very smart brand and must have found something, even a technicality, that qualifies as an agreement violation.
Whatever they’re justification is, it is clear to all of us watching and perhaps to Adidas and the Adi-Three themselves that Nike smells real competition for the first time in a long time.
So, we can’t help but see this lawsuit, despite is validity or lack there of , as a sign that Adidas is on the rise and who is giving us this confirmation? The biggest player in sneaker industry.
PS. If you see other people using Adi-Three know it was stolen from me.