This week, Nike filed a complaint against independent designer Warren Lotas alleging he was "promoting and selling fakes of coveted Nike Dunks." On Friday, Lotas responded to the allegations via social media.
"We are currently investigating the claims made against us and will do what it takes to remedy the situation amicably," he wrote on his Instagram Story. "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."
In the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles District Court, Nike claims that Lotas' lookalike sneakers are causing confusion in the marketplace as they closely resemble the SB Dunk. The sportswear brand says its reputation will continue to be harmed until a permanent stop is put to Lotas' intellectual property infringement. Nike is also seeking three-times the damages incurred, the profits from the sales, and reimbursement of the lawsuit and attorney fees.
Lotas began selling his Jason Voorhees-inspired SB Dunk lookalikes at the end of 2019, eventually turning the first pair into a series of shoes clearly modeled after popular Dunk colorways. There was the "Toxic Green" release in July referencing the Heineken Dunks, followed by a Stussy-style "Cherry" iteration in August, and then a "Pigeon" SB Dunk-inspired shoe created in partnership with that collaboration's original designer, Jeff Staple, in September.
Lotas said on Instagram that his intentions for his footwear creations have been misconstrued. He continued by saying that he always created things that didn't exist in the marketplace.
While the legal matters are ongoing, Lotas reassured fans who bought his last two releases that they will be getting the shoes as promised. The shoes are sold via pre-order, so his latest creations haven't shipped to buyers yet.