Controversy ignited around VLONE designer A$AP Bari in mid-July when video surfaced showing him sexually assaulting a woman who was in bed with a friend of his. Bari made a statement (below) on social media following the event, saying he was disappointed in the situation shown on camera and himself. He added that rumors he had been arrested in connection with the event were not true.
In the days to follow, there was speculation about whether or not Nike would continue its collaborative efforts with VLONE. On social media, there were calls for Nike to end the partnership, which was launched with a collaborative Air Force 1 sneaker in November 2016 at Complexcon.
In June, VLONE showed a collection during Paris Fashion Week that included Nike footwear.
Today (July 31, 2017) High Snobiety reported that Nike had cut ties with Bari. The article reads, “Nike has yet to make an official statement, but according to our source, the brand has cut ties with A$AP Bari,” read the article. “It is unclear if it means that the upcoming VLONE x Nike collaborations displayed at Paris Fashion Week have also been cancelled, but it’s logical that as a result of the partnership termination, those sneakers won’t see the light of day.”
In the days to follow, A$AP Mob affiliates Rocky, Ferg and Playboi Carter all made wishy-washy statements indicating they were less than thrilled by the video, but none stated outright disapproval. In an interview with Hot 97, Ferg, arguably the most sensible of the bunch, said, “It’s a touchy story, it’s unfortunate, and I would rather leave it like that.”
As committed as Nike is to human equality as well as improving its connection with female customers, it makes sense that Nike would shed a controversial relationship with a small brand easily replaced. And as big as Nike is, it’s not likely it will ever comment publicly on the severing of this tie.
— A$AP Bigga Bar$ (@TOASTOTHEGOD) July 14, 2017