Nike on Monday filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against New York-based company MSCHF over its controversial “Satan shoes” collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
The shoes are unofficial designs of Nike’s trademark Air Max 97 design, though the shoe company has said it is not involved
with the creation or sale of the shoes.
“MSCHF and its unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” the sportswear company says in its complaint. “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.”
The shoes, which contain a drop of human blood in the sole, went on sale Monday for $1,018 per pair. They are decorated with a pentagram and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven.
Only 666 pairs were made available, and all were sold out shortly after going on sale.
The shoes drew plenty of high-profile critics including South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and former Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
“Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF today related to the Satan Shoes,” Nike told Fox Business in a statement.
“We don’t have 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 has issued statements to multiple media outlets, including CNN
, clarifying it does “not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF” and that “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
The modified black and red Nike Air Max 97 sneakers — adorned with a bronze pentagram charm and a drop of human blood in the mid-sole — are the latest customized Nike footwear product to be released by MSCHF. The company also released a pair of custom-made “Jesus Shoes
” in 2019.
In its complaint, Nike said the Satan Shoes prominently feature Nike’s famous Swoosh logo.
The controversy began last week with the release of the music video
for Lil Nas X’s latest single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The video portrays the provocatively dressed singer as both a fallen angel and a demon who rides a stripper pole to hell where he gives a lap dance to the devil.
Following the video’s release on Friday, Lil Nas teased the release
of his new Satan shoes on Twitter.