YUMS, a colorful sneaker and accessories brand, is relaunching after surviving a multi-year legal battle with Nike. To celebrate the rare occasion, the small brand is rereleasing its signature Sweet Series sneakers, made up of four limited-edition sneaker designs all inspired by treats as sweet as YUMS’ court verdict.
An acronym for "You Understand My Style," YUMS was originally founded in 2007 by street artist Tex Moton. As the designer and Chief Creative Officer of YUMS, Moton brought details like translucent soles and graffiti art to the sneakers, drawing inspiration from his favorite foods and snacks.
Surviving Nike’s lawsuit — The success of YUMS’ colorful sneakers, which gained support from timely icons like Soulja Boy, led Nike to take notice of the brand and file a suit against them in 2009 for design similarities. With the lawsuit spanning several years, it was eventually taken to the Supreme Court, which resulted in Nike's first-ever covenant not to sue.
Few brands survive such a legal feat — especially one as small as YUMS. Nike is notorious for defending its sneaker designs, as evident by its lawsuit against independent designer Warren Lotas. When Lotas released his Pigeon Dunk sneakers — bearing a slightly altered Swoosh symbol — the sportswear brand denied him from distributing the shoes, claiming they were “illegal fakes.” Nike even went as far as to additionally sue the manufacturer that worked with Lotas, citing that the altered sneakers could ruin the Swoosh’s reputation.
It’s not hard to see the similarities between Nike’s Air Force 1 silhouette and YUMS’ signature sneakers — YUMS admits to “drawing inspiration from the fashion industry's most-loved trends along with a few special ingredients” — but the same could be said of popular streetwear brand A Bathing Ape, which Nike has never sued, despite the obvious resemblance. The brand’s BAPE STA, a reimagining of the Air Force 1 Low with the brand's lightning logo in place of the Swoosh, has been around since 2002. Its prominent place in streetwear history — as well as BAPE’s notoriety — may be one of the reasons Nike has never touched the silhouette.
Sweet success — YUMS, on the other hand, doesn’t hold the same status as brands like BAPE or Nike — making its survival in court that much more monumental. The brand is celebrating accordingly with four of its signature Sweet Series sneakers.
A shoe dubbed “Sugar” takes on a classic monochromatic white look, while another called “Cupcake” comes dressed in all black. “Rainbow Sherbert” and “Mixed Berry Tart” sneakers bring more colorful makeups, with the first flaunting a yellow, green, blue, and pink upper and the latter sporting red, pink, and blue shades.
All of the aforementioned pairs feature a transparent sole which shows off their graffiti-esque art. Each also comes with a pair of contrasting laces and will be offered in unisex shoe sizes ranging from 5 to 13 to promote inclusivity within the sneaker space. If you’ve got a sweet tooth for these shoes, all four pairs are available on the YUMS website, with prices between $100 to $125. Matching hats can also be purchased if you’re going for the full look.