The collective behind the Nike 'Satan Shoes’ is recalling every pair

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Blood mixed with red ink fills the sole's air cushions. Only 666 pairs of the shoes were made. (Photo: Lil Nas X/ Supplied)
Blood mixed with red ink fills the sole's air cushions. Only 666 pairs of the shoes were made. (Photo: Lil Nas X/ Supplied)
  • During the eve of Holy Week, a design collective released their Nike Air Max collaboration with Lil Nas X. 
  • Titled Satan Shoes, the sneakers have drops of human blood mainlined into each sneaker’s sole. 
  • After facing a lawsuit from Nike, the parties have agreed to settle the matter out of court. 

Last month, on the eve of Holy Week, art and design collective MSCHF partnered with rapper Lil Nas X to release a modified take on the Nike Air Max 97s sneaker. Titled Satan Shoes, the black and red sneakers are embellished with pentagram pendants, the collaborators’ names and the Bible verse Luke 10:18. This in addition to having drops of human blood mainlined into the soles of the sneaker. Priced at $1018 per pair, the Satan Shoes were produced in an edition of 666. MInutes into their sale, the shoes sold out. 

However Nike was unhappy with the sneaker modification and sale. So the sneaker stronghold sued MSCHF for trademark infringement. As a part of an out-of-court settlement between the two parties, MSCHF is offering to purchase back the sneakers from each buyer at the price they were sold at. This is according to a statement released by Nike. “The parties are pleased to put this dispute behind them,” Nike concluded in the statement. Even MSCHF’s lawyer David H. Bernstein told Artnet News how his clients are “pleased” with the settlement. 

Apart from recalling the Satan Shoes, MSCHF is offering a refund to consumers who in 2019 bought the altered Air Max sneakers titled Jesus Shoes. Where the Satan Shoes have human blood, the so-called Jesus Shoes have holy water from the River Jordan injected into the soles. 

At the moment, there is uncertainty on whether customers will return the shoes given how the return does not offer the incentive that the resale market does. There are already numerous pairs of the Satan Shoes on eDay priced from $3800 to $6666. 

On why MSCHF collaborated with Lil Nas X to make the sneakers, Bernstein said the following: With these Satan Shoes, MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance. Having already achieved its artistic purpose, MSCHF recognized that settlement was the best way to allow it to put this lawsuit behind it so that it could dedicate its time to new artistic and expressive projects.

On how the collective feels about the lawsuit, Bernstein added how the team is pleased because the lawsuit has “brought extraordinary publicity” to MSCHF’s artistic message. 

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