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Nike wins lawsuit to halt sale of Lil Nas X ‘Satan shoes’


Nike has won its lawsuit against Brooklyn art collective MSCHF over their controversial ‘Satan Shoes’ that contains a drop of real human blood in the soles

The $1,018 (£740) trainers are modified Nike Air Max 97s that feature an inverted cross, a pentagram and the words “Luke 10:18”.

MSCHF produced the shoes in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.

Nike claimed trademark infringement, asking a federal court in New York to stop MSCHF from selling the shoes and prevent them from using its famous Swoosh.

“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 said in the lawsuit.

Lawyers for MSCHF countered that the 666 pairs it created were “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art that were sold to collectors for $1,018 each”.

Siding with Nike, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday, 1 April.

The impact of the ruling remains unclear as MSCHF had indicated it has no plans to produce any more pairs of the shoe.

MSCHF “dropped” the black and red shoes 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 features the rapper, who came out as gay in 2019, celebrating his sexuality and rejecting attempts to shame him.

In a heavily stylised music video, he slides down a pole from heaven to hell before dancing provocatively with Satan, then snaps his neck and steals his horns.

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 also 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.

In its filing with the US district court for the eastern district of New York, Nike said it did not approve or authorise the customised Satan Shoes.

“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,” it said.

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