Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit Monday against the company that released a controversial customized version of its sneakers in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.
The “Old Town Road” artist worked with MSCHF to release “Satan Shoes” on Monday. The sneakers are modified Nike Air Max 97s — decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven.
MSCHF, a company known for creating controversial and viral products, confirmed Sunday that the shoes contained a drop of human blood inside the sole, drawn from members of the MSCHF team. All 666 pairs of the modified Nikes, priced at $1,018, sold out shortly after they went on sale Monday.
Nike filed the suit — Lil Nas X was not named as a defendant — after many people said they believed it was involved with the shoes, even though it released a statement over the weekend saying it had nothing to do with them.
The lawsuit argues that Nike must maintain control over its brand “by setting the record straight” about what products bear its distinctive “swoosh” logo.
“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 authorized or approved this product,” the lawsuit says.
The rapper, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, put out a short YouTube video Sunday titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe.” While holding the sneaker, Lil Nas X begins speaking — and before he gets to the advertised apology, the video cuts to the clip from “Montero” of him giving the devil a lap dance.
In other news – Rapper Lil Nas X releases Satan shoes with human blood
The devil doesn’t only wear Prada. Rapper Lil Nas X sparked intense debate online over Palm Sunday weekend with the release of a controversial pair of “Satan Shoes,” which feature a bronze pentagram charm, an inverted cross — and actual human blood.
The sneakers, made using Nike Air Max 97s, are a collaboration between the “Old Town Road” rapper and New York-based art collective MSCHF. Nike clarified its sneakers are not being used in an official partnership. Learn more