You might have caught wind of the Nike v Lil Nas X Satan Shoes drama in your newsfeeds. MSCHF (the über hot drop site) and rapper Lil Nas X collaborated on a pair of customized Nike shoes that were provocatively designed and beautifully boxed. The 666 customized versions of the Nike Air Max 97 aka “Satan Shoes” sporting a bronze pentagram, an inverted cross and a drop of real human blood sold out immediately. However, Nike was not happy and has issued a restraining order halting the shoes from shipping.
Nike v Lil Nas X Satan Shoes
When MSCHF first announced the drop for gay rapper Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes”, Sneakerheads and kicks-lovers everywhere whipped out their credit cards and launched their Apple pay to cop a pair of the latest. The shoes sold out immediately. Design aesthetes would appreciate the gorgeous box and the secular sneaker wearers could appreciate the unique design. That said… the shoes immediately attracted criticism from a number of high-profile political and religious figures. They were called everything from evil to heresy on social media. Even some online influencers and basketball players expressed serious disappointment in the ungodly shoes.
In the complaint, Nike argued that the “unauthorized” Satan Shoes had caused “significant harm to [Nike’s] goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.”
Despite the fact that MSCHF’s lawyers argued that Satan Shoes were “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art” – on Monday a US District Judge in Brooklyn ruled that MSCHF had infringed on Nike’s trademark swoosh and on Wednesday a Federal judge sided with Nike in ordering the Brooklyn company to temporarily stop further sales of the red and black shoes.
The sneakers are customized versions of the Nike Air Max 97 sneakers printed with “Luke 10:18,” a biblical passage referring to Satan’s fall from heaven. Lil Nas X also happened to release a devil-themed video for his song (and the rapper’s real first name) “Montero” last month.
The black and red shoes each have a bronze pentagram, a heel tag with an inverted cross and are said to contain a drop of real human blood in the midsoles.
The heels are stamped with MSCHF and Lil Nas X’s names, and the insoles are made from red wool that feature pentagrams on the heel.
THE SATAN SHOES SHOEBOX
The packaging! Unfortunately we could not find out who the package designer was for the shoebox, but that’s our favorite part.
The plan was for Lil Nas X, who is not a defendant in the case, to select a recipient for the 666th pair. That plan has since been halted due to Nike’s lawsuit filed on Monday.
MSCHF’s lawyers had argued that Satan Shoes were “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art,” following on the company’s “Jesus Shoes” based on the same Nike model in 2019. (see the brand’s statement here)
They said a temporary restraining order was unnecessary because shoe buyers would not think Nike was involved, and all but the 666th pair had already been sold and no more were being made.
Nike’s lawyers, in contrast, said “even ‘sneakerheads’ were actually confused by MSCHF’s shoes,” and MSCHF had a “history” of shipping infringing shoes faster than courts could stop it.