MSCHF Set To Release Their Next ‘Inspired’ Sneaker
It feels like just yesterday that Brooklyn based art collective ‘MSCHF’ was in the news for their ongoing lawsuit with Vans over the creation of their ‘Wavy Baby’ sneaker that saw the collective create an exaggerated version of the skate brand's most iconic ‘Old Skool’ silhouette leading many to wonder whether this was an official collaboration or a Vans release.
While the collective turned brand has been seeing ever growing success despite the controversy that each of their releases garners, it’s not the first time that they’ve been caught in a high-key case against a big footwear brand.
Last year, MSCHF partnered with Lil Nas X to create an unauthorised ‘Satan Shoe’ which saw them take one of Nike’s most popular silhouettes, the Air Max 97, and add Satan-inspired iconography including an X/666 model number on the heel, a pentagram lace jewel along with the most infamous feature - real blood put into the Air Unit taken from each of the members of the collective as confirmed by Lukas Bentel, the chief creative officer on the Complex Sneakers Podcast in April.
MSCHF’s footwear focused projects began with the Nike Air Max 97 ‘Jesus Shoe’. While it didn’t meet a hugely controversial response, it did reach headlines after supposedly containing holy water. The sneakers would go on to be worn by a handful of celebrities including Drake.
As the name suggests, MSCHF enjoys creating waves within the industry. Following the lawsuit surrounding the release of the ‘Satan Shoe’, the case was eventually resolved with Nike requesting that both AM97 projects be recalled or bought back from buyers for the full price at which they were sold. However, it is unclear as to whether this was followed through, and if so, how many pairs they were able to recall.
Following the first lawsuit with Nike, it only took a matter of months for the second lawsuit to begin. Following the creation of the Vans ‘Wavy Baby’ in partnership with Tyga, MSCHF has been going through the second lawsuit in a public manner, posting the proceedings stating that Vans had even reached out to them for a handful of pairs before going onto the enforce a cease and desist as well as speaking openly about the case with Complex which eventually came to backfire with direct quotes from Bental being used by the prosecution.
Nevertheless, the myriad of legal cases and negative feedback doesn’t seem to have phased them too much. Around three weeks ago, MSCHF posted on their @mschfsneakers (Instagram) account a silhouette of the latest project with ‘Coming Soon’ printed all over with the sneaker's name ‘Super Normal’ underneath.
As soon as the image was posted, it was easy to see the possible inspiration behind the latest silhouette which was later revealed by sneaker collector @solebyjc yesterday. As could be assumed from the initial silhouette posted by MSCHF, the latest project takes its inspiration from another one of Nike’s best-known products, the Air Force 1.
As with the previous Wavy Baby, the upcoming ‘Super Normal’ takes the classic AF1 and warps every facet of it with a mind-bending effect to the toebox, side panels and outsole including an elongated tongue.
Additional details include a large ‘MSCHF’ tongue tag as well as replacing the usual ‘Air’ on the midsole with the collectives name which also features on a silver lace lock. While these details do make some effort to set them apart from the regular Air Force 1, it cannot be ignored that they do strike a close resemblance to the sneaker that inspired it.
John Geiger 'GF-01'
As of late, Nike has been seen to be cracking down heavily on artists using their products' likeness for their work with recent cases including the aforementioned MSCHF Air Max 97 as well as the Warren Lotus Nike Dunk saga in 2020 and the very public case between Nike and John Geiger who has also been using the Swooshes classic silhouette.
While many brands and artists try their best to avoid lawsuits as much as possible, it appears that MSCHF uses them to draw further attention with little regard for the brands that they are taking from, with many people split as to whether this is fair for both brand and artist.
With many expecting a second lawsuit to be opened against the art collective in 2022, MSCHF has got people exactly where they want them - watching from the sidelines paying attention to what move they make next.
For the latest on the MSCHF ‘Super Normal’ release, stay tuned with Kick Game.