Nike's mission to stop the rollout of MSCHF's Lil Nas X-inspired "Satan" Air Max 97s was successful, TMZ reports. MSCHF is forbidden from fulfilling the orders for the shoes, which sold out in mere minutes just days ago — it is being forced to buy back all pairs for the original retail price of $1,018 a pop.
The judge's ruling comes as a result of Nike's (somewhat hypocritical) lawsuit filed last week, one which stated that the company had no affiliation with the Lil Nas X x MSCHF Satan shoe and did not authorize subsequent production.
News of the decision emerged after MSCHF recently teased a “Legal Fees” T-shirt featuring an image of the first page of the aforementioned Nike lawsuit. The tongue-in-cheek shirt is a response to allegations that MSCHF had infringed on Nike’s trademarks with its blood-filled “Satan” Air Max 97s, which were created in collaboration with Lil Nas X. The tee costs $66.60 (lol) but it's unclear if it's actually for sale.
ICYMI: The Brooklyn-based agency, which was also responsible for the “Holy Water” Nike Air Max 97s, teamed up with Lil Nas X to drop 666 pairs of the “Satan Shoes.” Designed as the antithesis to the aforementioned “Holy Water” shoes, the “Satan” AM97 contains real human blood in the Air bubble midsole. Following the drop, Nike (who had already released a statement denying any involvement) filed a lawsuit against MSCHF for trademark infringement and dilution, false designation of origin, and unfair competition.
As The Fashion Law reports, Nike filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on Monday and claims MSCHF “is currently taking orders for shoes it refers to as Satan Shoes, which are customized Nike Air Max 97 shoes that MSCHF has materially altered to prominently feature a satanic theme” without the brand’s approval or authorization.
The crux of Nike’s argument against the “Satan Shoes,” is that they have been altered in such a manner, that they do not represent authentic Nike Air Max 97s. Meaning, the blood and red ink in the midsole, pentagram affixed to the laces, and the red, embroidered, satanic-themed detailing make this otherwise authentically-purchased Nike shoe an unauthorized copy.
Another major point is that as the shoe still “prominently displays the Nike Swoosh logo both at the top of the tongue and along the side of the shoes,” it could “cause consumers and potential customers to believe that MSCHF’s Satan Shoes are associated with Nike, when they are not.”
The sneaker is the latest in a string of attention-grabbing and headline-inducing stunts. Most recently, MSCHF cut up a Hermes Birkin bag to make a limited run of “Birkinstock” sandals.
Nike previously released a statement distancing itself from the “Satan” shoes. “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” a Nike spokesperson said in a statement. “Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.”
Nike’s statement and subsequent lawsuit came after the shoe received backlash from religious and conservative commenters on social media. This lends credence to its aforementioned argument that consumers would falsely assume Nike authorized the custom “Satan Shoe” and that the brand had something to do with its creation. Nike reportedly included screenshots of negative social media comments in its lawsuit to back up its argument.
Lil Nas X has apparently escaped being named in the lawsuit for now. In response to the backlash, the artist posted a faux apology on YouTube, in which he trolled those that spoke out against the provocative shoe by including clips from his music video for his latest song, MONTERO.
In the clip, Lil Nas X can be seen giving the devil a lap dance. Lil Nas X also posted a fake anti-Satan Air Max 97 on his Instagram (below).
The shoes go a step further than any of MSCHF’s previous projects by putting human blood into the Air unit in the sole. Each Nike Air Max 97 (of which there are 666 pairs) features a drop of human blood and special ink within the Air bubble that turns it red. The blood was reportedly donated by MSCHF team members.
Other noteworthy details on the sneaker include embroidered numbering on the heel, a black and grey leather upper, a pentagram-shaped charm on the forefoot, and “Luke 10:18” printed on the toe. The referenced biblical passage apparently reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
All 666 sneakers were available on Monday for $1,018. They have since sold out. Coinciding with its release, Highsnobiety got an exclusive, up-close look at the sneakers. Check them out in detail below.