Dacey Dunaway, Correspondent
On Monday, March 22, MSCHF released 666 pairs of shoes designed in a collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X. They sold out in under a minute.
The shoes were released in collaboration with Lil Nas X’s new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which features satanic imagery, such as the rapper descending into hell on a stripper pole and giving the devil a lap dance.
The “Satan Shoes,” as they have been dubbed in the last week, feature a bronze pentagram, a drop of human blood in an air bubble sole mixed with red ink, an inverted cross and the Bible verse reference Luke 10:18, which reads, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
The blood within the air bubble soles of the shoes was donated by members of the MSCHF art collective. The blood was collected using the same needles used to perform at-home glucose tests, according to art director of MSCHF, Kevin Wiesner.
“We all knew that some people would take the satan element of this seriously…but I’m not sure we were entirely prepared for how much of a furor it would cause,” said Wiesner. “Obviously from our perspective, it’s just fun, right?”
The shoes are priced at $1,018, in keeping with the reference to Luke 10:18. They are made from Nike Air Max 97s, though Nike has no affiliation with MSCHF and made no contribution to this project, as Nike stated clearly in an official statement.
“We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” the company clarified. “Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.”
On Monday, March 29, Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF in the U.S. District Court.
“Nike files this lawsuit to maintain control of its brand, to protect its intellectual property, and to clear the confusion and dilution in the marketplace by setting the record straight — Nike has not and does not approve or authorize MSCHF’s customized Satan Shoes,” the suit states.
Outrage ensued after the release of the Satan Shoes, as consumers mistake the MSCHF shoes for authentic Nikes.
“Unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” explained Nike, citing their reasons for filing the lawsuit.
Nike is asking that “the court immediately and permanently stop MSCHF from fulfilling all orders for its unauthorized Satan Shoes.” They are also calling for MSCHF to pay for the lawsuit, lawyer fees and damages to the company. Lil Nas X is not a party included in the lawsuit.
In response to accusations of heresy and irreverence by religious figures such as evangelical pastor Mark Burns, Lil Nas X wrote, “I spent my entire teenage years hating myself because of the [expletive] y’all preached would happen to me because i was gay.”
He continued, “So i hope u are mad, stay mad, feel the same anger you teach us to have towards ourselves.”