For legendary street artist Tex Moton, creating a streetwear brand that combined his talent for graffiti with his love of food was obvious, and consumers agreed. Originally launched in 2007, YUMS, an acronym for “You Understand My Style,” quickly gained cultural popularity with Tex as the Creative Director and found immediate popularity with streetwear enthusiasts, celebrities, boutiques and major retailers nationwide who were hungry for Tex’s original artwork.
Behemoth NIKE took note, sued the smaller YUMS in 2009, and sparked a multi-year legal battle that looked like a modern battle between David and Goliath. Following the outcome of the case, YUMS is relaunching its signature Sweet Series sneakers, made possible by the Supreme Court ruling in Deja, LLC d / b / a YUMS v. Nike Inc., 568 US 85 (2013 ), and Nike’s First Undertaking Not to Prosecute, which NIKE Inc. issued to YUMS, and the Supreme Court enforced.
Tell us about you. What prompted you to continue on this path and how do your Dallas roots come into play?
I grew up in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood of Dallas in a single parent home with my mom and brother. We had limited means, but we always found inexpensive outlets to entertain me and my brother through art. Art has become the center for me, creating has brought me happiness! When I was in first year of high school, I co-founded a collective of graffiti artists called Infinite Crew (IC), which gave me and my friends a creative outlet, unified the youth of the city. and inspired a whole generation of – painters to come. The city of Dallas plays an important role in my artistic style because it is a very fashionable and artistically visible city. Dallas, mixed with my love of hip hop, skate and streetwear culture, my love of bright colors, set the stage early in life for my vision for YUMS.
What challenges have you faced as a creator?
As a designer, it can be difficult to make a living. There is a fine line between following your vision and having business success. The key for me has always been to find new ways to stay in a creative state. In addition to YUMS, I’ve worked with some really amazing brands and sports teams, from the Dallas Mavericks, San Antonio Spurs, Texas Rangers and Nashville Predators to Playboy and Coca Cola. I have been fortunate enough to use my art to connect with people and bring joy!
What would you like to know when you were younger?
Growing up in low income areas, there aren’t many role models in the community. I had to learn most of the things thanks to the school of hard knocks, many mistakes made but many solutions found too! Wish we could see more creative success stories in the hoods, more paths and steps to follow. I hope my story can inspire the next artist or designer of the future!
What are the most rewarding parts of your job?
I am very fortunate to be able to work with a great creative team (including my brother) in a great working environment. We all build on each other and constantly push each other. It’s super fun and I have the chance to influence a whole new generation of creatives.
What advice would you give to other creatives and entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in their communities?
I would say a very important piece of the puzzle is connecting with the right people. A hardworking, conscientious and moral team. Be patient and develop your profession, lasting success does not happen overnight.
Tell us about YUMS. Can you share the journey of YUMS and why it is relaunching now?
YUMS, which stands for You Understanding My Style, is a footwear and accessories brand that we first launched in 2007. We just announced the relaunch of YUMS in May and launched the popular Sweet Series sneaker collection. by YUMS. Now is the perfect time to relaunch YUMS for two reasons. First of all, feeling that the world could use a dose of joy, YUMS believes that now is the time to re-energize this sensational happiness with its flavor-inspired collections. Second, the current release can be attributed to the Supreme Court ruling in Already, LLC d / b / a YUMS v NIKE Inc., 568 US 85 (2013), and Nike’s first-ever pledge not to sue, which NIKE Inc. issued to YUMS, and the Supreme Court enforced.
What are the characteristics that make YUMS unique from anything on the market?
What sets us apart in the market is the fusion element. We’ve changed the way people relate to sneakers and think about collections, designs and product development by including unexpected details, like graffiti on the soles of shoes, visible through transparent rubber bottoms. YUMS give life and personality to this category, through art and the connecting elements of the flavors they represent.
What is your favorite “flavor” in this first collection?
In this first version of the first collection, I should go with the Rainbow Sherbet! Love them all, but I love how this shoe came about! These colors and the balance switch from right to left. Something special!
What’s next for YUMS? Are you open to collaborations?
We have a lot of fun things planned for our supporters! Just keep an eye out #YumsLife
Do you have any advice for other independent brands that have faced similar situations at YUMS?
My advice would be, find your way. Where do you exist and what do you add to the world. Additionally, what is your brand’s story and how does it connect with people?