Wordle, the word game that has taken the world by storm, was recently acquired by the New York Times for a sum in the “low seven figures.” But that’s not the biggest news about Josh Wardle, the game’s creator. In the wake of the sale, Wardle got a new job at the Brooklyn art collective MSCHF.
What is he doing there? “That part I cannot confirm!” MSCHF CEO Gabe Whaley wrote in an email.
So let’s look at what MSCHF has been up to lately for some clues. The collective made headlines in 2021 by selling repurposed Nike Air Max ’97 sneakers with Lil Nas X that contained vials of real human blood. The “Satan Shoes” irritated many, including religious organizations, human rights organizations, and, of course, Nike, who sued the company for copyright infringement. (The suit was settled within a month.)
Still, that act of bravado helped bolster MSCHF’s global profile. The collective was no longer just the company that cut up a Damien Hirst dot painting and sold the individual dots, as it did in 2020 — it had now found a captive audience in fashion. After the release of the satanic sneakers, an earlier project called Birkinstocks — exactly what it sounds like: Birkenstocks made from Birkin bags — gained popularity, and by last December, the group had created OnlyBags, a website to sell paper shopping bags from luxury brands for $ 40. The full lot of the bags sold out in less than minute.
The MSCHF website and app are intentionally vague about the group’s projects — it exists almost entirely by word of mouth and social media. But Wardle is an engineer, meaning he could be innovating across any number of projects. What’s a five-letter word for “must have?”