Monday, November 23, 2009

Adidas apologizes for misrepresenting KENTE, GHANA and AFRICA

This is a follow up from my previous posts about Adidas stealing from Africa :Click here to read how adidas stole fron Ghana
It pays to speak up - people of africa please patent, copy right and protect your heritage.

Dear Mr Kwabena,

Thank you for contacting adidas regarding the Jeremy Scott, Originals by Originals shoe Nizza 2 Hi; and for correcting us on the incorrectly referenced Kente cloth. We regrettably made an error in the copywriting process when describing this shoe. I can assure you that this was not meant to be disrespectful in any way, but a simple human error when creating copy which would be used to describe the shoe.

We have begun to correct this where we can - ie, Press Materials etc.

We have also contacted all of the communications and PR managers in our local markets to advise them of the change and act accordingly. Any future stories from adidas should correctly reference the Kente cloth which inspired the design.

We're very proud to work with external design partner Jeremy Scott and also to be able to reference and be inspired by materials, designs and styles from around the world and we're also reverential in crediting the origin of the design correctly.

In this instance, Jeremy Scott sent us the design with the correct name, but in our process of writing the description a typo was made. We have now tried to correct this mistake.

Thank you again for calling this to our attention.

Kind regards,

Tom Ramsden
Senior Communications Manager - adidas Originals

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Unlike Adidas Puma acknowledges Africa and Ghana's Kente as inspiration

Adidas Please watch and learn - PUMA shoes you how its done even though their design is not as obvious they still had the decency of letting the world know who's intellectual property was the inspiration for their shoe. You guys simply copied and pasted and still decided to re write African culture and History.

Puma goes wild by way of Africa with this Pack of Clydes that takes you on venture through the Serengeti. Available in black or jungle green, each shoe features a woven geometric strip along the eyelets inspired by traditional Ghanaian Kente silk fabrics. The scuffed mid and outsole gives a rugged wild look.


How Adidas Stole from AFRICA - First response


HI guys thanks for the support in spreading this message i sent the letter to many offices of adidas including their head of intellectual property - This is the first automated reply :( - Allot of people have called for a petition. I am giving adidas a few
more days to get their act together if we dont get a satisfactory reply we will petition and will take them on through all avenues.
Thanks and keep spreading it on twitter, facebook etc PEACE

Customer Ref No: 665396

Dear Kwabena

Thank you for your recent enquiry.

Your email has been forwarded onto the relevant department and
we will contact you again shortly.

In the meantime, we would like to take this opportunity to
thank you for contacting adidas and for your interest in the

Yours sincerely

Lauren Cruse
Customer Care Manager
For and on behalf of adidas (UK) Limited

For career opportunities within the adidas Group please go to:

Your Personal information may be used to invite you to provide
valuable feedback on your Customer Care experience and to inform you
about any future developments in adidas. If you would prefer not to
receive further information, please e-mail
with a Subject title of 'Remove'.

Monday, November 02, 2009

How Adidas Stole from AFRICA

If Adidas wants to borrow inspiration from AFRICA then they should pay up or Give Credit Where due - This is my letter to adidas with regards to the misspelling of the word 'KENTE' and lack of ascribing the origin of the cloth use in their African Inspired 'KENTA" Nizza 2 Hi sneakers

Hi i noted that for a while now Adidas has been doing the materials of the world special edition shoes and clothing. I think this is lovely and commend adidas for this.
As an African Designer I was also extremely excited by the release of Jeremey Scotts Africa Themed apparel. I was excited when i saw the African Inspired Nizza 2 Hi sneakers however i was saddened by the wrong description of the material used. The Adidas description stated that it was a unique 'kenta' cloth. Unfortunately Adidas has got it all wrong the cloth used on the shoe in question is actually the 'kente' cloth and not the 'kenta' cloth as has been published in all materials pertaining to the shoes.

This lack of respect for the name and history of Ghana's national cloth shows how little research and consideration was taking in fashioning or mimicking this shoe as an authentic African product.

Kente is the trendiest and most renowned cloth in Ghana and possibly in all of Africa. The strip-woven cloth made by the Akan people of Ghana and the Ewe people of Ghana and Togo, is the best known of all African textiles. Its fame has spread globally where it is now one of the most admired of all fabrics in many parts of the world.

Africa as it is a misunderstood, over exploited and misrepresented continent - If conglomerates like adidas wish to take inspiration from African art and textiles for their products the least you could do was provide an accurate historical description of the 'borrowed' design.

The country of origin of the kente design was not published.
Kente has been woven for centuries on looms by skilled artisans in Ghana and Togo - these designs are the daily bread of these Africans and the intellectual property of these artists and Nations as a whole.

I am certain Adidas will not be happy if a small shoe and clothing factory in Ghana decided to utilise the Trefoil logo and the 3 - Stripes mark on their make shift line.

So why is it that the culture and intellectual property of whole nations can be misrepresented by such a big company without and regard for the originators of the design.

I would appreciate it if the name of the shoe could be corrected and the design origins of the material could be rightfully ascribed to its originators. I am sure this is either a typographical mistake or just a slight oversight as a company with such a rich history will not intentionally misrepresent the whole continent of AFRICA.
thanks for your attention
P.S No AFricans were plagiarized in the making of this letter.
Kwabena Boateng

Please spread the word and post this on your blogs, diggs, twitter facebook etc
If africans dont speak out on injustices on or image and brand wewill wake up one day and the copy right of the word AFRICA
will be owned by a multi national in the WEST.