After a weekend of uproar, Nike Inc. is taking action against MSCHF Product Studio Inc., the creator of Lil Nas X’s controversial “Satan Shoes.”
“Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF today to stop the release of the Satan Shoes,” the company said in a statement, reiterating that it does not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. The statement continued, “The Satan Shoes were produced without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project.”
FN has reached out to MSCHF for comment.
New York Times reporter Kevin Draper first reported news of Nike’s suit via Twitter. The complaint was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York. It alleges trademark infringement and dilution, unfair competition and false designation of origin.
On Friday, Saint, a sneaker and streetwear social media account, tweeted campaign imagery of the MSCHF x Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes,” which are the classic Air Max 97s reimagined with black uppers and red detailing. The account shared that the shoes contain actual human blood and would come with a $1,018 price tag. Additionally, only 666 pairs would be released and each shoe would be individually number in red embroidery. The Bible scripture Luke 10:18 is also featured on the side of the kick.
After the shoes were revealed — and some social media users bashed Nike for the release — the Swoosh confirmed this weekend that it had no part in the creation of the shoe. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them,” a spokesperson said. (Today’s complaint notes examples of the social media criticism that surfaced when users connected Nike to the shoe.)
Separately on Sunday, Lil Nas X uploaded a YouTube video, which he said was an apology. However, the video only shows the rapper holding the shoe before cutting into scenes from his “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” music video. (The aforementioned music video is filled with demonic imagery.)
The rapper further responded to the controversy by tweeting a parody version of his custom sneaker collab that would appease his haters: a “Chick-Fil-A” Nike Air Max 97. The photo shows a shoe in white with a nod to the Bible verse John 3:16 and “My Pleasure,” which is quoted on the sneaker. “We decided to drop these to even the score,” he wrote via Twitter. “Damn y’all happy now.”