Nike Sues Company That Made Lil Nas X’s Satan Shoes
UPDATE (April 2):
On Thursday (April 1), MSCHF broke their silence on the lawsuit Nike filed against them regarding the art company's Lil Nas X "Satan Shoes" collaboration. A rep for MSCF told XXL, "We believe it is better to make art that participates directly in its subject matter; it is stronger to do a thing, than to talk about a thing. MSCHF makes artworks that live directly in the systems they critique, instead of hiding inside whitewalled galleries. There is no better way to start a conversation about consumer culture than by participating in consumer culture. We choose a specific medium to engage with a specific subject matter: we will make shoes, stream video, publish books, make paintings and sculpture, build apps or web services– everything is in service to the concept. MSCHF is fully context chameleonic."
In 2019, MSCHF released a white Nike Air Max named the "Jesus Shoe," which they referenced in the statement as well. The statement continued: "Over a year ago we released the Jesus Shoes. As a manifested speculative artwork Jesus Shoes conflates celebrity collab culture and brand worship with religious worship into a limited edition line of art objects. Last week’s release of the Satan Shoes, in collaboration with Lil Nas X, was no different. Satan Shoes started a conversation, while also living natively in its space. It is art created for people to observe, speculate on, purchase, and own."
The company affirmed that they are not affiliated with Nike and are surprised by the shoe giant taking legal action against them. The organization also said they reached out to Nike, but haven't received a response yet.
MSCHF added: "MSCHF strongly believes in the freedom of expression, and nothing is more important than our ability, and the ability of other artists like us, to continue with our work over the coming years. We look forward to working with Nike and the court to resolve this case in the most expeditious manner. Given the current circumstances, this action by Nike will also prohibit Lil Nas X’s Twitter giveaway for Satan Shoes Edition 666 from happening indefinitely. We appreciate everyone’s patience and continued support during this process."
UPDATE (March 29):
On Monday afternoon, a rep for Nike confirmed the lawsuit against MSCHF to XXL.
"Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF today related to the Satan Shoes," the statement reads. "We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters. However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. The Satan Shoes were produced without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project."
Nike is standing their ground against Lil Nas X's recently released collaboration of a Satan-themed Nike Air Max 97 sneaker with Brooklyn, N.Y.-based art collective MSCHF, which appears in the rapper's controversial new "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" video. The billion-dollar shoe brand is reportedly filing a lawsuit against MSCHF for misleading buyers into thinking Nike approved the shoe when it was actually a customization done by the art company and Nas X.
According to a report from TMZ on Monday (March 29), Nike claims that they didn't authorize the reworked sneaker Lil Nas X dropped in conjunction with MSCHF to accompany the release of his single "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," which arrived last Friday (March 26). Nike reportedly says they are "in no way connected with this project." The sneakers appear in the video being worn by the Satan actor, which can be seen beginning at the 2:27-mark of the visual.
Nike is suing MSCHF for trademark infringement because their signature Swoosh logo is featured on the Satan-inspired shoe. The company is seeking damages and wants all sales from the shoe to be blocked from Lil Nas X.
The sneaker conglomerate also notes that MSCHF buys shoes from Nike, modifies them to fit their own brand and resells for much higher than Nike's initial retail price.
Lil Nas X apparently caught wind of the Nike lawsuit and posted a short clip on his Twitter page from an episode of Nickelodeon's Spongebob Squarepants, featuring the character Squidward begging for spare change.
The artist captioned the clip, "Me after the nike lawsuit."
As previously reported, the Satanic-inspired shoe, which supposedly contains a drop of blood, also features a bronze pentagram and an inverted cross. The black-and-red Nike Air Max 97 sneaker, which was reportedly being sold for $1,018 and sold out on March 29, and also references a Satan-related scripture from the Bible, specifically Luke 10:18: "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven." There is a presumed connection between the price and scripture. There were a reported 666 pairs of the sneakers, although they apparently sold out in under one minute.
Lil Nas X even shared a video on his YouTube page on Sunday (March 28), which was labeled an apology regarding all the backlash over the Satan themes, but in all actuality the video just features the Georgia rapper holding the sneaker and clips of his "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" video.
XXL has reached out to a rep for Lil Nas X, Nike and MSCHF for a comment on the lawsuit.
Watch Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)" video to see MSCHF's reworked Nike Air Max sneakers.
See 10 Rappers’ Purchases That Broke the Bank