Nike has just issued a response following the recent allegations of inappropriate workplace culture at Tom Sachs’ studio. On Monday, several former employees of the artist alleged that the work environment was “destabilizing and scary.” According to the story, former employees have accused Sachs of making inappropriate comments regarding sex and employees’ appearance, throwing objects at employees, referring to a storage room in the basement as the “rape room,” walking around in just underwear while in the studio, and using derogatory language such as “autistic,” “retarded,” “bitch,” and others when referring to employees.
Nike, a long-time collaborator with Sachs, said it is “deeply concerned by the very serious allegations”
They have stated that they are currently communicating with Tom and his studio to gain a deeper understanding of the situation and the steps to address the issues. This comes after a former administrative employee alleged that Sachs attended a Zoom call with female Nike employees in his underwear during one of their weekly virtual fittings, which the company's studio reportedly considered a normal part of the design process. Another former studio manager claimed that Sachs intentionally creates uncomfortable situations and tries to pass it off as a form of genius, with many people in the industry aware of his cruel behaviour but not speaking out due to the small and insulated nature of the art world.
In 2012, Nike collaborated with Sachs to introduce the NikeCraft Mars Yard 1.0 sneakers. The partnership has since yielded several notable releases. Most recently, they unveiled the General Purpose Shoe, which is available at a more affordable price point.
Nike had also previously revised the packaging for its NikeCraft Mars Yard 2.0 shoe collection with Sachs in 2017. The company removed the phrase "work like a slave" from the box lid before the shoes were launched.
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