Warren Lotas and the Copy Cat Sneaker Era

by Christian Atles

The year 2020 has sure been a roller coaster to say the least. And the sneaker industry has had its ups and downs, but I think we have officially put a halt to originality and creativity in today's society and entered the era of "copy and paste" within the sneaker industry.

Now for today's thoughts, I am of course going to give my two cents on Warren Lotas and his sneaker "creations". Don't get me wrong, I am all for individuals taking the risk (financially and mentally) to venture out and start creating their own things. If you have the balls to do that, I salute you because it comes with a lot of late nights and blood, sweat and tears to believe in your creation. However, I do have a bit of an issue of someone skipping the design and creative process, stealing a creation, putting your stamp on it and calling it your own. And then profiting off it and claiming it is "your creation". This is unacceptable.

Now for me, I understand how business and design works (still learning the design aspect). I understand Warren's point of view of creating shoes to take advantage of the current Nike Dunk SB trend. He simply took colorways (Stussy and Heineken) that are extremely coveted today and decided to put his WL logo on this to sell. He knew it would sell out. Why? Because the two colorways brings nostalgia to people. Those who love Nike Dunk SBs and the new generation of "sneakerheads" who want any Nike Dunk SB at this point would much rather pay $300+ tax for a look alike vs $1200+ for the real thing. This creates 2 issues within the sneaker industry. Originality and Theft. 

When you don't spend anytime (hardwork) on creating a new product for the sneaker industry and when you simply take a design, that a group of individuals actually put the blood, sweat and tears to create, and decide to start selling it as the "WL" shoe. Sorry to say, you copied and paste your sneakers and are unfortunately milking off these customers who don't know any better. Wonder how Warren would feel if someone makes WL Stussy's and changes the WL to LW and changes the Jason Vorhees to Freddy Kruger and charges $200 instead of $300.

Next, what this causes is the acceptance of copying another persons designs and creations because we know that people will buy replicas of what they cannot afford. Are we now accepting people stealing? WL is not a creation but rather stolen art and claiming its a WL brand. This isn't what the "sneaker game" is and this isn't where it should head towards. This create stagnation in innovation and creativity within the sneaker society.

Now I get people will mention Nigo and his Bape replicas of the AF1s. For those who were around, there were mixed emotions when they first released (similar to WL copy of the Nike Dunk SB). I personally am not a fan of Nigo's copy of the Nike Air Force 1 because it is a direct copy of a design that was out there and claiming it was "his design". Everyone is entitled to their opinions. I come from a generation and upbringing where being original and creative is what is cool and what should be cool. People who bite off someone's style and claim it's theirs is not the sneaker game I come from and is not taking us to create a better sneaker/footwear atmosphere.

Maybe he meant well and I am 100% wrong. However, the final product shows otherwise. And to state that you are "insulted" by the quality comments from people should really be a eye opener for you folks out there. He is insulted that his "creation" is being compared to the EXACT sneaker he copied from. 

Here's to the many more WL copy cat designs. 

Shared by Christian



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  • Great read !! I think you made valid points , it would be cool if they did original designs @cvtdchgo did all original designs with premium materials and no one understood it. That was 10 years ago // I was before my time – again
    Check out the kicks I’m talking about and lmk your thoughts

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  • 100% facts!

    Sonny -

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