Lil Nas X’s ‘Satan Shoes’ go up in smoke as Nike settles for a recall by Mschf
The “Satan Shoes” sneaker snafu is no more, after Mschf agreed Thursday to recall the shoes as part of a legal settlement with Nike.
The athletics company sued Mschf last month after the Brooklyn-based collective released its “Satan Shoes,” which use the Nike Air Max 97 model as a base. The sneakers were a collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X to promote his new song, “Montero (Call Me by Your Name).”
In the settlement, Mschf agreed to initiate a voluntary recall and offer a full refund for the shoes, according to Nike. The recall and buyback also extends to the collective’s “Jesus Shoes,” launched in 2019, which are based on the same Nike sneaker model.
The “Satan Shoes,” complete with a pentagram pendant attached and a drop of human blood in every sole, borrow imagery from the devilishly themed music video for “Montero.” The “Jesus Shoes,” on the other hand, are adorned with a crucifix and include holy water from the River Jordan in the soles. Both iterations sold out instantly despite being priced at $1,018 and $1,425 a pair, respectively.
“In both cases, MSCHF altered these shoes without Nike’s authorization,” the athletic-wear company said in a statement to The Times. “Nike had nothing to do with the Satan Shoes or the Jesus Shoes.”
Pop fans with long memories will recognize the furor over Lil Nas X’s ‘Montero.’
According to the lawsuit Nike filed in March, some consumers mistook the “Satan Shoes” as an endorsement of satanism from the athletics company and boycotted the brand.
David H. Bernstein, an attorney who represents Mschf and chairs the intellectual property group at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, stated that the collective had “already achieved its artistic purpose” with the shoes and that the settlement would allow it to pursue new projects.
The shoes, according to Bernstein, were individually numbered works of art that commented upon branded collaboration culture and intolerance — themes that were “dramatically amplified by the Nike lawsuit.”
Before the settlement, a U.S. District Court in New York approved Nike’s request to issue a temporary restraining order , halting shipment of the sneakers less than a week after they were released.
Lil Nas X was not listed as a defendant in the lawsuit. However, a giveaway that the “Old Town Road” musician had planned for the 666th pair of shoes was halted as a result.
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