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A History of Luxury Sneaker Copycats

June 4th, 2014 by / 33

Yesterday, news broke that New Balance is suing Karl Lagerfeld over a sneaker being sold by the German fashion designer that features an awfully NB-looking shape, complete with an “K” across the side in place of the usual “N”. That sort of appropriation is nothing new in terms of luxury brands though, and there are plenty of other pairs on the market that owe varying degrees of their DNA to more pedestrian sneaker designs. Legal activity in this realm isn’t an entirely new thing either – Jordan Brand previously chased down Gourmet for their tributes and even New Balance had previous a win in this category following their settlement with Louis Vuitton over a 574 ripoff from 2009.

Should these companies be allowed to borrow and interpret these classic designs? That’s ultimately up to courts to decide, but it’s still an interesting discussion to have if you care about this sort of blending in the footwear world. It certainly makes sense that the brands involved would want to do everything they can to protect their intellectual property. On the other hand, the luxury versions of these models aren’t 1:1 ripoffs, in most cases they up things in terms of quality with authentic leathers, European production, and the like (Of course the chunkier price tags reflect this). And let’s not forget that the streetwear community at large has given a pass to these sort of brand flips when it comes to clothing. Continue reading for a a handful of of luxury sneaker ripoffs from the past decade and let us know if you approve of the process down in the comments.

Filed under: Adidas Air Jordans Blazer Featured New Balance Nike Air Force 1s Vandal Vans


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Ryan Martel Smith
Ryan Martel Smith

clearly some of yall do not understand how nice the leather is, that the profile is higher, and that that no designer brand plasters logos everywhere (and if they do it's typically the trendy cheaper pieces in the collection)

Yung Zay
Yung Zay

Matthew Lipschitz Jeimy Rojas this what I meant


they forgot about the cole haan air max 97 copy cat and versace ripped off the jordan 1's in the 90s or early 2000s


Gourmet and Bape aren't luxury sneakers and Common Projects didn't copy the Stan Smiths


There are really only so many ways to design a shoe for casual purposes without it becoming an outright abomination. Some of these infringements were definitley blatant but in all fairness all sneakers bear resemblance to each other to some degree.


those diemme gardas cost like 20x what the vans do


Hender Scheme is really the most shameful. If any of you saw their whole shoe line, their shoes are basically a complete ripoff of all the iconic models from including Nike, Adidas, New Balance, and Vans stripped of its logo and turned into an all-sepia colour. What a shame.


Tryin' to plagiarize sneaker designs hahahaha...... goes to show, No Ideas Original. XD


You know how many designer brands don copied the air force 1 hell the cheaper companies do it too

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