Artist says Vans stole his design for cow print sneakers
Days after a designer used TikTok to accuse Converse of stealing the design she submitted as part of an internship application, another designer shows up to say another shoe company stole its design.
Ment Nelson, an artist based in South Carolina, first shared a TikTok video made by a friend earlier this week that detailed his story and told Vans to “stop stealing black creations”.
Nelson’s friend @tooturnt_tuna on TikTok said she was allowed to share Nelson’s story and was inspired to do so by Cecilia Monge’s TikTok video claiming Converse stole her designs. @ Tooturnt_tuna’s TikTok video, which has received over 15,000 likes since it was first posted, describes the coincidences between Nelson’s shoes and Vans’ offerings. @ Tooturnt_tuna’s TikTok video, which has received over 15,000 likes since it was first posted, describes the coincidences between Nelson’s shoes and Vans’ offerings.
A few years ago, Nelson took a sharpie on his pair of white vans and drew several dots on them to look like a cow, tweeting “Moooo-d”.
He posted various photos of his bespoke shoes in February 2018, earning him a direct response from Vans’ official Twitter account and another Twitter user after tagging the brand.
In July 2018, Vans launched cow print shoes as part of its Vans Vault collection. But when Nelson Between his cow print shoes at a Vans competition in 2019, he had no idea that Vans had released cow print shoes before. Although he recognized that the printed cow designs, on their own, are not new concept and that many competitions include stipulations that artists give up rights to their designs just by entering the contest, his problem is with the 2018 cow print shoes.
The viral TikTok video also featured the Vans website, which featured the phrase “A whole Moo-d” and photos of the cow print shoes. (He also appeared as the caption of a Facebook post for Vans Canada in January.)
“Vans stole my concept,” Nelson wrote. They couldn’t stand the fact that a black man had marketed this design so well. Also, my version was better than the ones they posted. “
The Daily Dot contacted Vans and Nelson.
This isn’t the first time Vans has been called in for allegedly stealing Nelson’s design. A viral tweet in early January called Vans for taking Nelson’s design and asked the brand to apologize to him, credit for the design, and the $ 25,000 prize that Vans’ contest brought in.
While Vans highlighted its 2018 print because, he corrected himself later by pointing out that Vans had introduced cow print shoes as early as 1991.
“Hi, Ment,” Vans wrote. “We just had to check this one ourselves and we apologize for making a mistake in our last answer. We went back to the archives, our new customs and the 2018 shoe were inspired by this cow print from 1991.
Nelson replied pointing to Vans’ hypocrisy in the item from Under the Palms (a website run by Vans shoe enthusiasts but not officially affiliated with Vans) which describes the cow print as “kind of fresh and new.”
So far, Vans has yet to publicly respond to the latest accusations of design theft. But with a viral TikTok video chronicling what Nelson said happened, in addition to Monge’s own viral TikTok, Nelson’s story is already spreading further than it was a few months ago.
* First published: May 28, 2021, 1:57 p.m. CDT
Michelle Jaworski is a writer and TV / movie critic for The Daily Dot. She covers entertainment, geek culture, and pop culture and has covered everything from the Sundance Film Festival, NYFF and Tribeca to New York Comic Con and Con of Thrones. She is based in Brooklyn.