Vans sues MSCHF over ‘Wavy Baby’ and Tyga Collab shoes

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MSCHF and Tyga’s “Wavy Baby” shoe hasn’t even dropped yet and is already the subject of a potential lawsuit from Vans.

Revealed on April 6 and released on April 18, MSCHF Sneakers’ “Wavy Baby” skate shoe was created with Tyga in mind – the rapper created the shoes in his “Freaky Deaky” music video weeks before the general announcement and friends like J Balvin soon received his own pair.

Not hard to see the appeal either. The Wavy Baby, with its unique deformed sole, is unlike any sneaker you’ve ever seen before.

Yes, the Wavy Baby looks like the skate shoes that came before, with that canvas upper, wavy white stripe, and black-on-white fox, but that’s partly what MSCHF Sneakers are doing (more on that later).

For now, let’s be clear: MSCHF’s Wavy Baby is a completely original design.

In late March, MSCHF told Highsnobiety about the painstaking production process that goes into creating the MSCHF Sneakers line, explaining that every shoe he creates is built from the ground up.

With that in mind, you can best appreciate the typically sardonic tone that informs the statement MSCHF released on April 14 about his Vans lawsuit.

“Vans has reached out to proactively settle with us,” MSCHF said. “Turns out they were shaking our hands at the same time they were stabbing us in the back.”

“To have the [Wavy Baby] drop go live [on April 18], they offered specific conditions (24 hours ago) asking for, among other things, half of the profits and also four pairs of shoes for themselves. They also indicated that they were open to meeting about future LMAO collaborations.”

Suffice to say, MSCHF just feels a little jaded.

MSCHF Sneakers’ first silhouette, the TAP3, was an obvious nod to the metaphorical bureaucracy that clouded MSCHF and Lil Nas X’s Satan shoe in 2021, making it clear that MSCHF Sneakers is as anti-establishment as anything. MSCHF.

MSCHF Sneakers is also rooted in a true love for footwear: the creative team at MSCHF loves the support and possibility it provides. Thus, MSCHF Sneakers was designed as a middle finger to the shoe industry‘s laziness.

“The sneaker landscape is so incredibly outdated,” MSCHF told Highsnobiety in March. “If we were to collaborate with a sneaker brand, they would have to open a new mold: we’re not just doing an MSCHF colourway.”

Everything boring in the sneaker business – sloppy collaborations, boring colorways, copy-and-paste logos – is what MSCHF Sneakers is not. By taking inspiration from the familiar shapes of established sneaker giants, MSCHF Sneakers can get their point across much faster.

MSCHF wouldn’t offer any further comment on his Vans lawsuit beyond the initial statement, but, really, the statement says it all.

“Standard shoe industry practice is: Steal a sole, steal an upper, change a symbol,” MSCHF continued. What a boring use of cultural material. Wavy Baby is a complete distortion of an entire object which is itself a symbol.”

“Vans is a hidden institution hiding behind its past heritage as a ‘creative youth brand’. In 50 years of sneaker releases, never has one of their shoes garnered so much pre-release attention. The Wavy Baby is transformational beyond anything Vans could ever attempt.”

Simply put, MSCHF’s statement is a worthy manifesto for MSCHF Sneakers – and perhaps MSCHF – as a whole.

“Fundamentally, artists play with culture. Sampling is a fundamental act of creative expression and a constant iterative process throughout the fashion space.”

As far as can be surmised, MSCHF is currently planning to move forward with dropping Wavy Baby on April 18th.

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