Designer John Geiger turns his Nike sneaker trial into NFT

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After being sued by Nike in August over allegations he copied his famous Air Force 1 sneaker, designer John Geiger is now digitizing the moment with an NFT.

From problem to profit – Four months after the initial trial, the designer is making it clear that he is not ready to bow down to Nike. And now Geiger has announced that he is tapping into “the future of NFT” with a digital, non-fungible token copy of the trial and the GF-01 sneaker in question. The shoe makes its digital debut wearing an all-silver color scheme, followed by the NFT JG Lawsuit Edition Gold and Bronze which will be released shortly thereafter. He didn’t stop there, however: he revealed his intention to add tangible elements to each edit.

Geiger is currently celebrating the release of a multicolored looped tweed GF-01, a model that experimented with “materials that weren’t necessarily designed for shoes,” he said in an Instagram story on Monday. The designer might consider doing the same with the “JG Lawsuit” version and bringing the metallic look to life.

Since Geiger’s legal involvement with Nike began, the designer has promised transparency throughout the process. It is not certain whether this is the only NFT linked to a lawsuit for Geiger, although he said in the Instagram post that it “was only scratching the surface.” The whole NFT project could also open the door for other, smaller artists to create art from the criticism, even if the criticism takes the form of a lawsuit.

Nike vs. Geiger – Nike has become increasingly possessive of its intellectual property when it comes to sneakers, taking legal action against independent labels that produce similar products. La Land Production & Design Inc. and Warren Lotas were sued by Nike in 2020 for an alleged Dunk impersonator – a case that was settled later in the year. In August 2021, John Geiger’s name was added to another Nike complaint for creating “market confusion” with their Air Force 1-like shoe, the GF-01. To help him fight the Swoosh, Geiger hired Kanye West’s former lawyer Yeezy.

Geiger made a point of being transparent about the resemblance to the Air Force 1 of the GF-01. He said he had been “very clear” about using AF1 as an “inspiration” for his version and made sure buyers were aware of the creative liberties being taken, although his marketing language may be what started the whole trial. The GF-01 is similar in shape to the AF1, but personalized details like the patterned outsole, different construction materials and a unique quarter set it apart.

In Geiger’s case, only time will tell if he’ll be able to fend off the biggest sportswear giant of all. There’s a good chance a future collaboration isn’t underway as the designer had hoped after all.


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