Nike is moving to dismantle the empire of rising sneaker designer Kool Kiy, who they accuse of ripping off their designs.
The massive sneaker company filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against founder Nickwon Arvinger, popularly known as Kool Kiy, and David Weeks of By Kiy LLC. Also being sued in the same case is Bill Omar Carrasquillo of Reloaded Merch LLC, known by his popular Instagram moniker “Omi in a Hellcat.”
Both Omi and Kiy run successful sneaker businesses, but Nike claims that the widely popular Black-owned brands have duplicated and profited from sneakers that bear a striking resemblance to Air Jordan 1’s and Nike Dunks. However, what makes both the By Kiy’s and Reloaded sneakers unique is that instead of a Nike swoosh, they both feature lightning bolts.
According to Nike, they attempted contact with Kiy on August 6th, 2021, to inform him of the alleged infringement and come to some sort of resolution. They also reached out to Omi with the same notification on October 5th, 2021, giving each company a week to respond or face legal action. When neither did, Nike moved forward with their lawsuit.
On Thursday, Kiy shared an image of the lawsuit document, accusing Nike of targeting a Black-owned company with baseless claims.
“Woke Up This Morning To A Lawsuit From The Mega Giant Corporation That I Supported My Whole Life,” Kiy wrote in the IG post.
Omi has not responded to the suit on his personal or business social media platforms, which sport millions of loyal followers.
Nike has gone after smaller creators for allegedly replicating their designs which has been the topic of controversy for years, considering that they have seemingly allowed Bathing Ape to freely release shoes similar to their Air Force 1’s with no retribution.