Videos by OutKick
Everyone’s favorite ugly rubber shoes with holes in them might just have a lawsuit on their hands.
Crocs teamed up with Dreamville Records this week to release limited-edition clogs and slides. The shoes come with custom “jibbitz” (the rubber charms you can stick in the holes) featuring pennants of the hometowns of each Dreamville recording artist.
But there’s one problem: These custom jibbitz look almost identical to ones actually designed by a small business called Oxford Pennant.
And Oxford took notice.
They followed up later with another very blunt message: “Let us be crystal clear: Crocs are ugly and we are going to sue them.”
Oxford Pennant is a company based in Buffalo, N.Y. and beloved by the city. They produce nostalgic felt signs spanning sports, music and pop culture. Since Oxford’s humble beginnings in 2013, they’ve boomed in popularity and have even collaborated with brands like J. Crew and The Goo Goo Dolls. NFL fans probably saw their popular work with the Buffalo Bills in 2021.
But they’ve never had an agreement with Crocs.
Crocs’ newest designs look blatantly similar to Oxford Pennant
OutKick spoke with Oxford co-founder Dave Horesh, who says he’s sending a cease and desist to the footwear giant.
“I’m a small business. We have under 50 employees,” Horesh said. “I just do not appreciate, you know, billion dollar companies, farming ideas that we’ve had to make money off of. It’s unacceptable to me.”
And unfortunately for Oxford, the money has already started rolling in for Crocs and Dreamville. The companies released the product Thursday and are selling them both through their official websites and Amazon Fashion.
“I would have preferred that it never made its way in the market in the first place,” Horesh said. “But there are, I presume, tens of thousands of ugly shoes on people’s feet already with our intellectual property on them.”
Horesh called the designs a “massive, massive failure” on Crocs’ part.
“Some people have been like, ‘Oh, you should, you should call Crocs and see if they want to collaborate with you,'” Horesh said. “That ship has sailed.”
Upon receiving the cease and desist, Horesh said he expects Crocs to pay Oxford a licensing fee for the product that’s been sold.
“Laws exist to be able to protect intellectual property because it’s what helps propel small business forward,” Horesh said. “So my hope is that they are good faith actors, and they help us resolve this quickly so that this doesn’t drag on and become a bigger problem than it already is.”
OutKick reached out to Crocs for comment, but we have not yet received a response.