Nike mistook Panamanian culture for Puerto Rican culture
Last week, we reported on the Nike Air Force 1 Low "Puerto Rico" which was set to release in June. Immediately after Nike announced the shoe, the internet erupted in outrage and for good reason. It was pointed out by many in the Puerto Rican and Panamanian communities that the graphics on the side of the shoe was actually a "Mola" which is an art form in Panama and not Puerto Rico. A petition was launched to cancel the shoe, while avid sneakerhead DJ Clark Kent took to Instagram to educate people on what a "Mola" is.
This is called a “Mola” It is a Panamanian art form," DJ Clark Kent explained. "You can find it anywhere in my home country, PANAMA. Respectfully, This is not a part of Puerto Rico’s rich culture. Though we are both Spanish speaking people, we have different traditions, art & cultural expressions. When celebrating one, please do proper research. These things should not be confused."
In the aftermath of these criticisms, Nike has officially canceled the launch of the shoe. A spokesperson for the company spoke to Sole Collector, saying "We apologize for the inaccurate representation of the design origin for the Nike Air Force 1 'Puerto Rico' 2019. As a result, this product will no longer be available."
Once again, the power of the internet reigns supreme.