Nike & MSCHF Settle Lawsuit Regarding Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes’
Nike settled its lawsuit against MSCHF over its Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes.” Nike sued the Brooklyn-based design brand last month because the “Satan Shoes” use Nike Air Max 97 models as a base. The sneakers were released as a promotion for Lil Nas X’s new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”
MSCHF agreed to voluntarily recall the sneakers along with their “Jesus Shoes,” which were launched in 2019 and use the same Nike sneaker base. The company agreed to offer full refunds for the shoes.
The “Satan Shoes” are decorated with a pentagram pendant and have a drop of human blood in every sole. The “Jesus Shoes” have a crucifix on them and have holy water from the River Jordan in the sole. “Satan Shoes” sold for $1,018 per pair and “Jesus Shoes” sold for $1,425 per pair. Both lines sold out quickly after their release.
“In both cases, MSCHF altered these shoes without Nike’s authorization,” Nike said in a statement to The Los Angeles Times. “Nike had nothing to do with the Satan Shoes or the Jesus Shoes.”
Gabe Whaley, MSCHF’s CEO, confirmed that Nike is not associated with the sneakers and that six MSCHF employees supplied a small amount of blood to be mixed with ink and included in the shoes.
Nike said in their lawsuit that some consumers misunderstood the shoe line as Nike endorsing Satanism.
David Bernstein, a lawyer at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP representing MSCHF, said the point of the shoes was to spread an artistic message, which has since been amplified by the lawsuit.
“We’re thrilled with the way this case has been resolved,” said Bernstein. “These shoes were never about making money.”
He said the brand is now free to pursue other artistic endeavors. According to Bernstein, the shoes were individually numbered works of art that commented upon branded collaboration culture and intolerance.
Before the settlement, a U.S. District Court in New York approved Nike’s request to issue a temporary restraining order, halting shipment of the sneakers less than a week after they were released.