Trouble is afoot for a collaboration between rapper Lil Nas X and New York art collective MSCHF who now face a lawsuit from Nike over their “Satan Shoes,” which have each contain a drop of human blood in their soles.
The Satan Shoes were made using modified Nike Air Max 97s. The black shoes are jeweled with a pentagram and feature an inverted cross and the bible verse “LUKE 10:18” in red. The air bubble soles contain red ink with a drop of human blood that was donated from members of the art collective. 666 pairs were made, each selling for $1,018 USD. They sold out in less than a minute.
Now Nike is claiming trademark infringement. They say MSCHF is creating confusion and dilution in the marketplace, with people mistakenly believing that Nike authorized the sale of the controversial shoe.
The trainers were created and launched to coincide with the release of rapper Lil Nas X’s new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” which was uploaded Friday. The song, by the openly gay rapper, alludes to how some see homosexuality as a sin.
The video features the rapper wearing the Satan Shoes while sliding down a stripper pole from Heaven to Hell. He then gives Satan a lap dance, seducing Satan before murdering him and taking the devil’s horns for himself. The Bible verse on the shoe references this imagery as well. Luke 10:18: “So he told them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”
Nike requested the court to block the use of their famous Swoosh logo and sale of the Satan Shoes in a filing with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Nike cites a series of tweets from shoe influencer @Saint and South Dakota’s conservative Governor Kristi Noem and other religious people, showing the public attention along with the outrage caused by the Satan Shoe.
Lil Nas X tweeted several memes in response on Twitter Monday, but Nike believes the lawsuit is warranted.
“There is already 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 mistaken belief that Nike has authorised or approved this product.”
No word on when the other shoe will drop in this lawsuit or if and when Lil Nas X will foot the bill for damages.
Check out Thailand’s own shoe controversy from 2018.
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