The sneaker industry is a funny place. With appealing design paramount to a model’s success, brands usually go pretty hard seeking reparations from rivals who hijack their intellectual property. For example, when Skechers released a textile that looked suspiciously like Flyknit, Nike didn’t hesitate taking them to court. Same with adidas; the brand with the Three Stripes seem to think they own striped branding. (The Fashion Law reports adidas are currently settling disputes with ECCO, Marc Jacobs, Tesla and many more.) However, they never went after Hender Scheme’s ‘homages’ and even went on to collaborate with them.
So it seems strange that Nike are letting this one slide: ACNE Studios’ Sofiane Runner. The laterally laced sneaker bears such a striking resemblance to Nike’s Footscape NM that r/Repsneakers would almost consider it a 1:1 – all it’s missing is the mini Swoosh on the toe. But, as with adidas and Hender Scheme, quality makes all the difference. The Sofiane is an expertly crafted sneaker befitting the brand’s high-fashion reputation. It features premium suedes, supple liners and stitch work a level above your average retro runner, and appears to be such a good imitation that Nike are flattered it exists.
If you’re after a couture remake of 90s classic, Ssense have this ‘Mint Green’ ACNE Sofiane available now for $580 USD.