The Kicks You Wear, Vol. 137 — Don't fall for the okie-doke
Nice pivot, Nike
Good morning, folks! Welcome back to the Kicks You Wear. Thanks so much for rocking with your boy on this glorious Friday morning.
🚨 Tune in to Special Delivery later today at noon ET! It’s a good one.
Alright, let’s go.
This one ain’t on the bots, Phil
(Photo by Kristian Egelund on Unsplash)
Nike CEO Phil Donahoe has finally spoken up about the Ann Hebert situation, though, it wasn’t publicly.
Donahoe addressed Hebert’s resignation in an internal all-hands Nike meeting, per Complex’s Brendan Dunne. In the meeting, he reportedly spoke about the eroding trust from their consumers, particularly “around the launch of a product. And he’s right. That’s definitely a thing.
But here’s where he’s wrong: He thinks it’s only because of the bots.
Donoahoe called out botting as the root of the problem and said that the company would be doing an “audit” of their drop processes online to regain people’s trust.
He also said Nike has been working on anti-bot tech for the “last several years” and would need to “double down” on their efforts to nip things in the bud.
That’s all well and good. But it doesn’t even begin to address the real issue at hand with the situation, which was that it seemed that Ann Hebert — a prominent Nike executive — had a hand in building up her son’s reseller business.
Sure, bots are part of that problem. But that only just skims the surface of these turbulent waters.
The fact that an executive of Ann Hebert’s stature was bankrolling this operation presents a massive issue that bots aren’t part of. Furthermore, it is wholly concerning that the company still doesn’t seem to think she did anything wrong.
Heidi O’Neill, Nike’s president of consumer and marketplace, spoke during the meeting and said the company’s legal department did a compliance review of Ann's connection to Joe’s business and found she still hadn’t violated company policies. It seems Hebert stepped down was just because of “poor judgement.”
“To be clear, we believe that Ann demonstrated poor judgment. However, we made the decision to not take corrective action against Ann…That decision was based on the information that we had at the time of the review. Following media reports, we had a more complete understanding than what we did when the review was conducted a few months ago and, together with Ann, we decided that it was best for her to resign.”
That’s an issue. To any objective observer there is a fairly clear conflict of interest here. Ann Hebert’s job literally fueled her son’s business. And yet, somehow after a thorough review, there wasn’t a problem. That’s just wild.
So, yeah, bots are bad. But that’s a deflection. The bots don’t stop the Hebert situation. The bots don’t solve whatever the heck happened with Marcus Jordan’s Trophy Room drop.
And, most importantly, they aren't at the root of Nike's strategy revolving around scarcity. Sure, they feast off of it. But they're like vultures feasting on a decaying carcass. They're just benefactors of work that is already done.
The bigger issue seems to be company policy and company strategy. That’s stuff that has to be dealt with internally. Those are standards that need to be strengthened and retooled.
Hopefully, Nike takes care of that along with whatever they do to stop the bots.
(Photo by Calle Macarone on Unsplash)
One of the things that I was concerned about coming into 2021 was the oversaturation of the collaboration.
Today, I feel like that concern is validated. We have a new Travis Scott Jordan 1 coming with Nike…but it’s also a Fragment shoe? Yeah, y’all just take a peek.
That’s…really a thing. And I’m just struggling to come up with a reason that it even exists.
Maybe it’s a 1 of 1 and won’t drop! Or maybe it’s something like the Playstation Dunk that they only made a handful of pairs for. That’d be fine.
Or maybe Travis Scott just loves Fragment as a brand. And maybe he hit Hiroshi Fujiwara and they decided they wanted to work together on something?
Maybe Travis Scott’s favorite color is secretly blue and he had to go through Fragment to get it for the AJ1. I don’t know.
What I do know, though, is that this feels like the collab project I feared. This is collab soup. There are 3 different brands on one shoe and that just feels like way too much.
This isn’t what collabs are for. There’s no soul to this thing. There’s no solid story to tell us or no tale that they can spin that’ll make this one make sense. It just feels like a money grab all around and that’s disappointing to see.
CONFIRMED’s next challenge?
It looks like another pretty big test for CONFIRMED is already lining up. Bad Bunny has a new Forum joint coming to the app.
This continues that vintage basketball trend we talked about a few weeks ago with a little bit of an international popstar twist to it.
These are certainly clean, but I wonder what the hype will be like surrounding them.
No, it’s not the same as Yeezy. But Bad Bunny is a pretty big name globally. These might fly just like those Crocs did.
This drop is going to show us where Adidas is right now. They’re still working their way back to the hype they found in 2015 where whatever they dropped flew off the shelves.
It’s been a long time coming, but they’re getting there. This Bad Bunny joint might show us how close they are.
A hoodie with no pockets is a hoodie that isn’t for me
Listen, man. It’s all in the headline. Don’t make no hoodie without pockets or drawstrings. Because that isn’t really a hoodie.
Somebody should’ve told Ye that before he made these.
You truly hate to see it. Yeezy x GAP gotta come better than this, man.
Y’ALL KNOW THE VIBES. Let’s get into it.
The homie Wack started us off with the Cool Grey 3’s so you KNOW we going crazy today.
Herb man followed up in the Viotech AM 90’s and these joints are CRUCIAL.
The homie Cord popped out in these LOVELY waffle joints.
The homie Sarah followed up with the Killshots and these are CLEAN.
My man Rube brought out the Laser 4’s and his student showed off the most adorable Crocs ever.
The homie Brenden popped out in the Salehe Bembury Anta joints and they are slick.
The homie Hardly Clerkin brought out the Taupe Haze 4’s with the PS5 flex in the background.
Then the homie Shamar popped out in the South Beach 9’s going crazy.
My mans Baklava Boi popped out hitting homers in the Griffeys. Good Lord these are so good.
The homie Greer also came out with these TORCH Max 98’s. MAN this is such a good shoe.
The homie Yosh popped out in these Fiery Scarlett Converse joints. Sheesh, fam.
Speaking of Converse, Mags popped out in the Southern Flame Converse joints and y’all know that’s a KYW fan favorite.
My dog Brett popped out in these FIRE Half Cabs courtesy of the OG Russ. You love to see it.
Then the homie Summeet sent us PACKING in the TurDunken joints with the top notch photoshoot. SHEESH.
SMOKED. IT. You love to see it.
Thank y’all so much for rocking with me, once again! Let’s talk on Monday!
Be safe. Be easy. Be kind. Peace and love.