For sneakerheads out there and those interested in the “bigger picture”. Complex carried an interesting entry about Nike’s usage of “Chinese designs”, especially in the leadup to the Olympics. As an example, it points out a limited edition version of Jordan 1’s that only dropped in China and also the recent launch of “a line of sportswear carrying a Chinese slogan that translates to ‘arise and advance’”. Along with that line, Nike has also released the "1984 line" which honors Chinese Olympic triumphs in LA. From what I’ve heard, there will be additional launches focuses on other Olympics as we get closer to this year's Games.
The line I liked the most was that “So far it seems, Nike’s one-upping the three-stripes in quantity, but look for Adidas to push hard on Chinese-heavy apparel as the Olympics draws closer.” Adidas has an obvious advantage to begin with in that they’re the official Olympics sponsor and will be outfitting the Chinese squad (as well as all volunteers), but the Nike line is less athletic based and more streetwear. Of course, Adidas learned a lesson some foreign classmates learned back when I was at Fudan, never put anything on the Chinese flag, which has bogged down their streetwear release and created a controversy before it even dropped on the mainland. The WSJ article (that spurred Complex's entry) mentions that as well as Adidas' collection which contain "elements such as clouds, dragons, fans and bright colors evoke tradition and allow young Chinese to express their identity" although all those items carry the Beijing Olympics logo.
Then again, Nike had its own problems with China during Lebron commercial-gate, so a lesson for all, be very careful how you choose to incorporate “Chinese design” in your products (though why doesn’t this effect Shanghai Tang and its $50 Mao tshirts? Is it because no Chinese would be caught dead in them?), especially when dealing with things that have deep historical significance. For those who are just interested in fashion, make sure to check out larger Nike shops in China to get your hands on the collection.