The Importance Of Branding Yourself | What went wrong when Marc, Mark & Denis left for adidas

The problem with branding yourself while under another brand and how this whole situation with Nike vs Adidas could have been avoided.

It’s a shame that such talented guys like Mark, Marc & Denis will now have to go through this deluge of Nike driven drama for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately however, that can be the case when trying to build a brand around yourself while you’re attached to a another (rather large) one.

Nike actually acquired some of adidas’ top designers recently, which for the most part you wouldn’t know. No dramas. It was kept quiet. However, given that these three created quite a media storm its basically pissed Nike off to no end. This is adidas > Nike in the public eye. This was a public display of adidas actually taking something from them. Nike’s not cool about that.

So now that Nike’s spit it’s metaphorical dummy out, it looks like these three will unfortunately get it in the neck. In other words, they’re being made an example of. This isn’t Nike telling them off, this is Nike flexing in front of it’s entire staff. This is Nike showing what they do to designers that want to leave them publicly. And this is whats wrong with the current power dynamic of the industry.

ConceptKicks was created with the hopes of helping and inspiring designers/creatives to get their talent out there for people to see. It’s important to build your own brand. Don’t be put into a box, learn the full system (or get people around you that do). This is the only way you have any control over a power balance that’s currently completely tipped in favor of larger brands/corporations. Designers/Creators/Developers must understand their value. This whole situation is nothing if a validation that people do give a f*ck about talented footwear designers.

This is a big reason I personally don’t particularly want to be under a contract to a large firm. Omar and myself like creating our own brands, or working with them (not for), creating our own following, and being able to do whatever we damn well please. It’s a sacrifice, there’s no guaranteed income every month. However it’s something that gives us the freedom to do whatever we please, whenever we want. Most importantly, whatever we do is ours, we own it.

I imagine these three are talented enough to make it through this situation, they all seem to be handling it pretty well. Hopefully this is the start of designers/creatives understanding their worth. So with that, we wish good luck to them, we’re looking forward to seeing their next moves.




Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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  • Pflite - 5 years ago

    This whole thing has been built up like they have stolen whatsoever secret from Nike.
    Footwear is creativity, but it’s not rocket science. Plus designers role is very important, but it’s just a part of the process.
    What was into their laptops is also well contained within their heads, just because it’s fruit of their thinking. It’s more then possible that the best ideas for new products are kept within their brains rather then in their devices…
    In my opinion, embracing such a strong action against them is not a sign of power, but to me it shows weakness, like they have lost control after losing these three talented guys in favor of their hated enemy.
    Showing no reaction at all and wishing them the best for their new careers, would have been a stronger reaction IMO. “We are Nike and we are not afraid to replace them with fresh new talent”…more classy and a better prove of confidence in themselves.