October 03, 2007

Bloggers criticize Air Native

Nike Adds Indian Artifacts to Its Swoosh[A]long with its trademark swoosh, the Nike Air Native N7 features feathers and arrowheads, which bloggers have found off-putting.

“If this isn’t an example of corporate manipulation of race, I don’t know what is,” wrote one of about 200 readers commenting online about an article that appeared in The Rapid City Journal in South Dakota. There, the response to the article was split.

“What makes this a ridiculously bad move is decorating it ‘Native American style,’” added a reader identified as “la foi,” on the Web site of The Portland Mercury, an alternative weekly near Nike headquarters in Bend, Ore.

“They probably brought in a Native consultant and heard what they wanted to hear, which is that Native Americans like sunrises and rainbows and feel real connected to the earth and the night sky and stuff.”
Comment:  Looks to me like the Native design elements are pretty minor. The "arrowheads" are three triangles that aren't necessarily arrowheads. (Triangles are a common Native design element; they sometimes represent mountains.) The "rainbow" is a single ribbon of Native-style colors.

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