UPDATED 05/5/21 7:00 p.m. ET: Today, USPS released an official statement announcing that it has reached a resolution with Nike on the upcoming mail-themed Air Force 1 Experimental release. As part of that resolution, the shoe is now officially USPS licensed product, which likely means that the postal agency will receive some sort of compensation for the usage of its likeness and possibly royalties from sales, though no official details on the agreement were announced. This also almost surely ends the possibility of the two parties ending up in court, which USPS threatened after images of the shoe began making rounds earlier this year.
A release date for the USPS x Nike Air Force 1 Experimental has not been announced.
See original story below.
The shoe that caught the attention of the postal service was the forthcoming Air Force 1 Experimental pictured here. It features design cues obviously borrowed from USPS’s various Priority Mail boxes, including the signature red, white, and blue color scheme and a shipping label attached to the heel. However, there aren’t any official logos from the postal service on the shoe.
This week, the postal service issued a statement saying that it does not receive any tax dollars for its operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its day-to-day operations. Additionally, they claim that sales from unauthorized and unlicensed products like this Air Force 1 Experimental deny support to the hardworking women and men in the company. The postal service also challenged the sportswear brand’s position in protecting its intellectual property, as Nike recently filed its own suit against Brooklyn-based collective MSCHF over the release of a custom Satan-themed Air Max 97 in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
“This is an unfortunate situation where a large brand such as Nike, which aggressively protects its own intellectual property, has chosen to leverage another brand for its own gain,” USPS said in a statement. “The Postal Service is disappointed in Nike’s lack of response to repeated attempts to come to a solution. The Postal Service will take whatever actions it deems necessary to protect its valuable IP rights.”
At the time of publication, Nike has not made a statement regarding its upcoming Air Force 1 Experimental release. To read USPS’s full statement about the shoe, click here.