Vans Accused of Stealing Design From Black Creator

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A few days ago, Ment Nelson tweeted about how his cow print designed shoes, which he designed with a sharpie, had been stolen by the shoe company Vans. Recently, a TikTok has been becoming extremely popular detailing the story. The person who shared the TikTok became inspired after a different incident involving Converse taking credit for a design that was submitted in a similar way.


pay up @vans // artist: @mentnelson // #fyp #designersspeakup #stolenartwork // story inspo: @ceci.monge

♬ original sound – v

In 2017, Nelson tweeted a photo of the cow print vans, captioning it “Moooo-d.” He later posted it in 2018, where Vans acknowledged the tweet of the shoes twice. In 2018 as well, Vans announced cow print shoes as a part of a collection they were releasing.

How This Affects the Creator

Nelson entered his cow print shoes in 2019, where he did not win. Some have mentioned that entering the contest could be why Vans took his idea, as the rules for the contest include giving up all rights in order to enter the contest. He notes that Vans had copied his idea before he entered the contest. And though Nelson acknowledges that cow print is not an idea that is new, he feels as if Vans takes credit for his idea. He notes that the timing feels too coincidental, as Vans had acknowledged the design and its popularity it gained on Twitter shortly before they announced their own design. On the website where they announced their cow print shoes, it included the phrase “a whole Moo-d,” which relates to the caption Nelson used in his original tweet. Nelson writes that “Vans stole my concept. They couldn’t stand the fact that a Black man marketed this design so well.”

Now, the TikTok posted on Nelson’s behalf by TikTok user @tooturnt_tuna has received twenty-one thousand likes. Nelson also posted on Twitter about how he feels about the situation, which has received thirty thousand retweets with over one hundred thousand likes.


Van’s Response

Vans had been called out by several people on Twitter, as some were demanding Vans apologizes and paid the 25,000 they believed he won in compensation, as people believed he clearly won the contest. Vans wrote that their design did not come from Nelson, but instead a design from 1991.

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