Nike Sues Creative Company Representing Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes’ for Trademark Infringement

(image: MSCHF Studio)

Sportswear giant Nike won a restraining order against MSCHF Product Studio just this week which will prevent the maker of Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes’ from shipping them out to customers.

All 665 pairs of the shoes have been shipped out bar one last pair of shoes, making it the 666th shoe of modified Nike Air Max 97 trainers produced by Brooklyn-based creative company MSCHF Product Studio Inc.

The ‘Satan Shoe’ collection was released in conjunction with American rapper Lil Nas X’s music video drop for his song ‘MONTERO (Call Me by Your Name)’. The biblical-themed music video served as inspiration for the design of the modified Nike Air Max 97s, which features Luke 10:18 embroidery, a bronze pentagram charm and allegedly human blood imparted in the midsoles. The trainers cost an eye-watering amount of USD 1,018 each, and the 666th pair was to be gifted to the winner of a giveaway orchestrated by Lil Nas X himself.

Nike has made a disclaimer that they are in no way involved in the creative output of the shoe, and that MSCHF’s ill use of the Nike brand has tarnished the company’s name, evidenced by members of the public vocally boycotting the company upon the ‘Satan Shoe’ release. Representatives of Nike spoke to CNN on the following:

MSCHF and its unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike […] In the short time since the announcement of the Satan Shoes, Nike has suffered significant harm to its goodwill, including among consumers who believe that Nike is endorsing satanism.

CNN

Nike further stated:

We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.

CNN

Lil Nas X, real name Montero Lamar Hill, is not named as a party in the lawsuit filed by Nike against MSCHF on March 29. Nike subsequently won a restraining order against the New York collaborative 3 days later.

MSCHF’s representatives have suggested that Nike’s trademark infringement lawsuit is a threat to artistic expression. The company’s lawyers argued that the shoes are ‘not typical sneakers, but rather individually numbered works of art that were sold to collectors for USD 1,018 each,’ with references made to the ‘Jesus Shoes’ collection released by the same company in 2019, featuring the same model of Nike shoes.

Neither Lil Nas X or his representatives responded with an official comment. However, the rapper has made several subliminal tweets in reference to the lawsuit.

Sources:

NME / Vanity Fair / Hypebeast / Business Off Fashion

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