Nike has sued the MSCHF Product Studio art collective over the “Satan Shoes” they sold recently in collaboration with Lil Nas X. In the lawsuit, Nike claims that they did not design or authorize the shoes, which feature the Nike ‘Swoosh’ logo on them.
The lawsuit was brought to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York with claims of trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution and unfair competition. Nike alleges that there is “evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the belief that Nike has authorized or approved this product.”
— SAINT (@saint) March 29, 2021
Each shoe is said to contain a mixture of 60cc red ink and a drop of human blood in the sole of each shoe. In response to this, Nike wrote in the lawsuit that “Making changes to the midsole may pose safety risks for consumers.” According to Snopes.com, a MSCHF representative commented that MSCHF buys shoes from Nike and modifies them before selling them. According to the shoes’ product site, the Satan Shoes use “Nike Air Max 97” bodies.
There were 666 pairs of the Satan Shoes for sale at a price of $1,018 a pair, all of which sold out in less than a minute except for shoe 1/666, which belongs to Lil Nas X and pair 666/666, which is being given away separately via lottery. The price is a reference to the Bible verse Luke 10:18, which states, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
These shoes have been the focus of some controversy due to their satanic imagery and their association with Lil Nas X’s “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” music video, in which the superstar gives the devil a lap dance. Lil Nas X responded to the outrage with a fake apology video in which he pretends to start apologizing, but instead switches to the lap dance clip from the music video. He’s been tweeting about it the whole while, partially making fun of the controversy and partially saying things sincerely such as, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the s**t y’all preached would happen to me because I was gay. So I hope you are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”