When you think you have seen and heard it all, the world always finds a way to surprise you and that can be clearly evidenced with today’s reports regarding Nike suing Brooklyn art collective MSCHF over a controversial pair of “Satan Shoes” that is said to contain a drop of real human blood in the soles.
Nike is taking action against MSCHF’s Air Max ’97 Satan Shoes, which are being marketed as being an ‘exclusive’ product containing ’60cc ink and 1 drop of human blood, a tweet posted by SAINT read.
The $1,018 (UGX 3,725,797) trainers, which feature an inverted cross, a pentagram and the words “Luke 10:18”, were made using modified Nike Air Max 97s. Nike has already promised to take action against the product and is claiming trademark infringement.
According to BBC, MSCHF released exactly 666 pairs of the satan shoes on Monday in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X. It is also reported that the shoes sold out in less than a minute after they were revealed.
The black and red shoes were “dropped” by MSCHF on Monday, coinciding with the launch of Lil Nas X’s latest song Montero (Call Me By Your Name), which debuted on YouTube last Friday.
The song sees the rapper, who came out in 2019, celebrating his sexuality as a proud gay man rejecting society’s attempts to shame him for the way he is.
The Montero (Call Me By Your Name) video shows Lil Nas X slide down a stripper pole from heaven to hell before dancing provocatively with Satan, then proceeds to snap his neck and steal his horns while at it. The video definitely delivers a provocative message that many believers will find disturbing and offensive.
The imagery and the shoes both reference the Bible verse Luke 10:18 – “So He told them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Each shoe features a signature Nike air bubble cushioning sole, containing 60 cubic centimetres (2.03 fluid ounces) of red ink and a single drop of human blood, donated by members of the MSCHF art collective.
Nike is asking the court to stop MSCHF from selling the satan shoes
According to the filing made by Nike with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York, the popular brand does not approve or authorise the customised Satan Shoes and is asking the court to stop MSCHF from selling the shoes and prevent them from using its famous Swoosh design mark.
“MSCHF and its unauthorised Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” the sports shoe giant says in the lawsuit.
“In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes, based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorised or approved this product.”
The lawsuit cites a tweet by popular shoe influencer @Saint from last Friday, which teased the upcoming release of the shoes and drummed up publicity over the weekend on social media and in the media in the US.
Some Conservatives, including South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, and some religious followers, took offence at the controversial design of the shoes and criticised Lil Nas X and MSCHF on Twitter.
Aside from that, it should be noted that MSCHF was the same company behind their limited edition Nike Air Max 97 MSCHF x INRI Jesus Shoes that were released in 2019 and had a crucifix plus 60cc of holy water from the River Jordan blessed a priest from Brooklyn valued at $1,425 per pair.
The Jesus shoes, however, didn’t face similar backlash as the satan shoes have faced. Lil Nas X recently came out to apologise for the confusion caused by the satan shoes.
Author: Allan Bangirana
Allan Bangirana has a taste for all kinds of topics and usually writes about tech, entertainment, sports and community projects that make a difference in society.