Only a couple of days after Nike filed a lawsuit against Warren Lotas and his Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, citing trademark violations over its iconic "Dunk" sneaker, the indie designer has taken to social media to respond to the sportswear giant's claims. In a series of Stories on his Instagram page on Friday, Lotas said he still plans to launch the bootleg Staple Pigeon Dunks at the center of Nike's suit, which he's set to start shipping later this year to people who pre-ordered them back in September.
No plans to stop — "As of now, both releases will be fulfilled as promised," he said. "We are currently investigating claims made against us and will do what it takes to remedy the situation amicably. We are in the midst of a historic moment, something that will make these shoes feel like you're wearing a trophy for small business, rather than a source of controversy."
Despite Nike's claims that he's a "bad actor" who's "currently promoting and selling fakes of coveted Nike Dunks," and the brand's argument that it must protect "its iconic sneaker designs, and its intellectual property in those designs, by rooting-out bad actors that undermine the DNA of sneaker culture by promoting and selling fakes," Lotas doesn't seem to have any plans to back down.
"I firmly believe my intentions have been misconstrued," Lotas said. "If you've followed my company since the inception, I have always created things that didn't exist in the marketplace, big or small. My shoe is something I've always wanted to see in my personal footwear rotation and to share with my small cult following."
Goliath — Lotas added that, "somewhere along the way, the community's perception of me and my work changed... every drop was written off as a cash grab and no one could see or believe the fun I actually had as things got bigger," which seems to be a dig at resellers who started buying his product. "Of course, this is what anyone would probably say when backed into a corner by a massive company that they've grown up with and respect... but it is what I believe."
No matter what ends up happening between him, his brand, and Nike legally, Lotas said his love for the brand isn't going anywhere. "I'll still buy a new pair of Cortez every week. Regardless of the situation, the Fallas will prevail. Always."