May 3, 2021
Nike and MSCHF have reportedly settled a trademark infringement dispute over modified Nike sneakers called “Satan Shoes”, sold by MSCHF in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X. The Nike Air Max 97s featured a pentagram and included a drop of human blood in the soles. Retailing for $1,018, the shoes sold out quickly and caused quite a stir.
Nike, which was not affiliated with the shoe, made a federal filing against MSCHF, with a judge granting a temporary injunction to halt the fulfillment of orders. The settlement reached means MSCHF will issue a voluntary recall on the shoes and offer a buy-back program.
The release of the shoe coincided with the release of Lil Nas X’s latest single – “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
An attorney for MSCHF, David H. Bernstein, stated that they agreed to settle after realizing the release of the shoe had “already achieved its artistic purpose” and that the art will “continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion”. According to Bernstein, the shoes were meant as a “comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance.”
Authors: Emma Baumann and Scott Kerr