Nike sues MSCHF over ‘satan shoes’

Lil Nas X, the devil and his shoes; a timeline

satan shoes
The ‘satan shoes’ as designed by MSCHF

American footwear company Nike is suing design collective MSCHF for trademark infringement over the company’s satan shoes. In a complaint the company filed Nike said “MSCHF is currently taking orders for shoes it refers to as Satan Shoes, which are customized Nike Air Max 97 shoes that MSCHF has materially altered to prominently feature a satanic theme.”

To understand how these shoes came to be, we need to start from the beginning. The saga of the devil and his shoes started on Friday (March 26th) when American rapper, previously of the “Old Town Road” fame, Lil Nas X, released a controversial music video called “Montero (Call me by your name).”

The music video sparked outrage online, mainly from Christian groups, who did not take kindly to the devil featuring prominently in the song.

On Sunday night, still amidst all the backlash from his music video, the rapper in collaboration with New York-based art collective MSCHF launched the “satan shoes.” The now infamous shoes featured a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross and a drop of real human blood. The shoes were made using Nike Air Max 97s as a base.

Upon the release of the shoes, Nike distanced itself from the design releasing a statement that read in part, “We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”

However, the satan shoes, according to reports, sold out in under one minute after their launch.

In the complaint filed this week, Nike claims that since the satan shoes launched last week, they have harmed its reputation “including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.” Additionally, the company is asking for the shoes to be destroyed and for MSCHF to pay financial damages.

Read the full complaint here.

It is important to note that in 2019, MSCHF rolled out another pair of shoes, the “Jesus shoe”, using the base of a pair of Nike Air 97s filled with 60cc of Holy Water drawn from the River Jordan and sporting a crucifix. Nike did not sue them over those shoes.

The Jesus Shoes as designed by MSCHF containing 60cc of Holy Water and a crucifix.





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