Yums, the Dallas-based streetwear brand created by street artist Tex Moton, is relaunching on Thursday with its “Sweet Series” sneakers that have been out of the market for more than a decade due to a legal battle with Nike.
The sneakers will be sold direct-to-consumer on the Yums website and will range in price from $100 to $125.
Yums, which stands for “You Understand My Style,” was founded in 2007, born from Moton’s background as a graffiti artist and his legacy as the son of two painters. He launched Yums to change how people perceive sneakers, offering vibrant and colorful styles at a time when brands such as Bape and Ice Cream also began offering colorful footwear styles. The soles of the sneakers featured elaborate artwork that became the brand’s calling card.
“Our first initial offering was the Magic show in Las Vegas,” Moton said. “We wrote over $1 million in orders at our first show.” The brand also formed a partnership with rapper Soulja Boy, coming off of his hit song “Crank That” and debut album.
But in 2009, the brand was hit with a cease-and-desist letter from Nike, which alleged that Yums’ parent company, Already, infringed on its Air Force 1 sneaker design and demanded the brand remove its sneakers from the market. Yums countersued claiming the trademark was invalid.
Moton said boutiques pulled away from Yums due to the legal battle, so the brand shifted to headwear in partnership with New Era instead. The styles were distributed on five continents, which “carried us throughout that time period,” Moton said.
The legal battle ultimately went to the Supreme Court and as a result of the case’s outcome, Nike issued its first covenant not to sue, which the Supreme Court applied to previous and current Yums designs. “The agreement essentially says from this point forward they can’t legally attack us or try to say we’re in violation of this agreement,” Moton explained. “Outside of replicating the logo, you have authority to produce this shoe along with us.”
Aside from the relaunch of the sneakers, Moton has been in partnership with the Dallas Mavericks, designing caps and alternate basketball jerseys for the team, as well as NHL franchise Nashville Predators and Playboy, for which he produced headwear in 2016 and a live installation in Times Square.
Now, with the return of the Sweet Series, Yums hopes to return to its mission of changing how people perceive sneakers.
“It’s nice to be standing on the other side,” Moton said. “We’ll just see how this plays out.”