While custom versions of Nike shoes have long been commonplace, the brand has taken an aggressive approach in response to a capsule of black and red Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” sneakers customized by Brooklyn-based MSCHF in a collaboration with Lil Nas X.
Each of the 666 black and red shoes’ air bags contains a drop of blood donated by several MSCHF company employees. Underscoring the connection with Satan, the shoes’ laces are adorned with a bronze, pentagram-shaped charm, while Luke 10:18, a bible verse referencing Satan’s fall from grace, is printed on the outsole.
Swiftly responding to uproar over the shoes that was fueled by the demonic imagery featured in Nas X’s “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” visual (above), Nike issued a statement making clear it had no official association with the shoes.
On Sunday (March 28, 2021), the brand put out a press release reading: “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.”
The Beaverton-based brand followed up today (March 29, 2021) by filing a suit U.S. District Court (above) where it alleged that MSCHF’s “unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike.”
MSCHF is known for its inventive monthly drops, one of which included a $76,000 Hermès Birkin Birkinstock sandal. In October 2019, MSCHF launched an equal but opposite Nike Air Max 97 “Walk on Water” sneaker whose air bags filled with holy water. Notably, there was very little uproar over the “Walk on Waer” shoe and not suits were filed.
On MSCHF’s website, the shoe is described as sold out except for one remaining pair, which will be drawn by lottery. Those who wish to enter, must publish a tweet linked on the Satan Shoes site.
MSCHF listed the shoes on EBay, but the listings were pulled because they don’t abide by the company’s counterfeit policy. According to the Ebay: “We don’t allow counterfeit items, replicas or unauthorized copies.”
Check out additional images of MSCHF and Lil Nas X’s Air Max 97 sneaker below.