Nike (NKE), the brand that encourages people to "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything," recently scrapped a sneaker release in China due to the shoe designer's political beliefs.
During recent protests in Hong Kong, designer Jun Takahashi — founder of the "punk-centric" UNDERCOVER brand — took to Instagram to show his support for protestors, posting a photo of them with the caption, “no extradition to China.” Following a backlash on social media, the Financial Times reported that Takahashi deleted the post from the Undercover site saying it was an “individual opinion” shared by mistake — and Nike axed the shoe’s release.
“Based on feedback from Chinese consumers, we have withdrawn from China a small number of products that were designed by a collaborator,” a Nike spokesperson told Yahoo Finance.
Takahashi founded Undercover in 1993 and has collaborated with NIke since 2009, including the popular Undercover x Nike Daybreak collection released on June 7. The collection adds a futuristic flair to the classic Nike 1980’s running shoe silhouette.
Urban Necessities founder Jaysse Lopez told Yahoo Finance that the incident “was not a good look” for Undercover but that Nike will invariably recover from any negative feedback it received for pulling the shoe.
China is a big market for Nike. Last quarter, the company pulled in $1.6 billion from the country. And according to Cowen, Greater China will likely be a significant contributor to Nike’s growth over the next five years.
Reggie Wade is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter at @ReggieWade.