Nike, whose brand name derives from the Greek goddess of the same name, meaning victory, celebrated the goddess by releasing a new pair of sneakers.
The American multinational announced on Tuesday it will be releasing ‘The Winged Goddess Of Victory’ with the Air Force 1 Low and also offered the first images of the footwear.
Greek-speakers were quick to spot that at the heel of the left sneaker, an inscription in Greek which was apparently supposed to read Νίκη air, i.e. “Nike air”, was misspelled.
Many were left wondering what does “ΠΙΚΣ” mean. Is it a colossal mistake, some unknown initials, or a make-up word that just looks Greek for marketing purposes?
Some took to the social media to complain about the apparent blunder. Others started a petition to make the American multinational retract the sneakers.
“We are demanding Nike to retract and recall the Air Force 1 “Goddess of Victory” sneakers from the marketplace. Nike has misused the Greek alphabet on the back of the sneakers misrepresenting the spelling of the Greek Goddess NIKE,” says Angie Xidias who started the petition.
“Currently the sneakers spell PIKS and not NIKE – this is cultural appropriation. We are asking Nike to preserve and respect the Greek culture and history by accurately using the Greek alphabet when writing and referring to the Goddess NIKE,” she adds.
The Air Force 1 “Goddess of Victory” sneakers have a clean white base, replicating the robes of ancient Greek gods. Keeping its look monochromatic, the low-top shoe has replaced its smooth leather with ribbed Epi leather, adding texture to its forefoot and heel overlays.
A silver mesh peeks out from underneath white laces, hinting at the Greek’s devoted marble statues, or perhaps, a winning trophy.
To specify which deity the sneakers celebrate, however, the shoes bear an extended sheer tongue akin to a wing.
Towards the heel of the sneaker, traditional Nike branding has been swapped out for thematic motifs. One shoe reads “PICS Air” in silver Greek lettering, while the other boasts a metallic palm branch graphic — the symbol of victory — embroidered into its heel tab.
The dedication continues within the sneaker, where a figure of Nike the goddess has been imprinted onto the insoles alongside the definition of the Nike name.
Dubbed the “Goddess of Victory,” these Air Force 1 Lows have yet to receive a release date, though their official imagery suggests they’ll hit the Nike website in the coming weeks. Each pair is expected to retail for $130.
Nike terminates contracts with retailers in Greece
In early 2021, Nike announced that it will terminate all its existing contracts with Greek retailers by 2022.
A spokesperson at the Dutch European headquarters of the American multinational corporation confirmed on Wednesday that its strategy in Greece will involve a smaller number of partners.
The spokesperson added that the decision was taken in the context of its recently announced “Consumer Direct Acceleration” strategy, which involves prioritizing investment through Nike’s digital channels.
The multinational has established 22 Nike stores in Greece, 15 of which were managed by Folli Follie, a Greek-based international company, whose founder was jailed pending trial, accused of falsifying the company’s financial data.
These contracts are expiring since the Folli Follie company is unable to obtain protection from creditors following the financial scandal.