‘Satan Shoes’, Nike, MSCHEF: Is There a Bone to Pick There?

A judge ruled Thursday that art collective MSCHF must stop shipping orders of its custom “Satan Shoes” following an infringement lawsuit by Nike.

MSCHF released 666 pairs of altered black Nike Air Max 97s featuring a pentagram pendant and “Luke 10:18,” a Bible verse that reference’s Satan’s fall from heaven, near the toe. The group said each shoe contained a single drop of human blood mixed into the sneakers’ soles.

The shoes sold for $1,108 as part of a collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X in conjunction with the release of his single “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)” and a follow-up to the MSCHF’s release of “Jesus Shoes,” white Air Max 97s they said contained holy water drawn from the Jordan River.

Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit Monday, stating that the shoes diluted the company’s brand as it was blamed for the controversy surrounding the release and on Tuesday sought a temporary restraining order to stop MSCHF from delivering the shoes.

“When the reasonable consumer sees a Nike Swoosh on a shoe or sees the NIKE word mark in advertising for a shoe, it is inevitable that he will believe Nike is the source of the shoe,” Nike said in a letter to the court Thursday. “MSCHF’s conduct has caused immense confusion about the source of MSCHF’s infringing shoes and tarnished Nike’s brand with an unwarranted association with satanism.”

MSCHF’s legal representation responded to the restraining order by stating there was no “imminent or immediate threat of irreparable harm” related to the shoes as all but one pair have already been sold and shipped.

“MSCHF has no intention of issuing additional Satan Shoes,” the response stated. “It had been planning a giveaway of the last pair of Satan Shoes on Friday, April 2, but has suspended that plan pending resolution of Nike’s application.”

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