Nike Sues MSCHF Over Lil Nas X ‘Satan Shoes’

MSCHF has issued a response to Nike’s lawsuit over its polarizing new “Satan Shoe.”

The brand released a statement on Thursday to Nike’s lawsuit over the shoes created in partnership with rapper Lil Nas X, stating: “We believe it is better to make art that participates directly in its subject matter. It is stronger to do a thing, than to talk about a thing. MSCHF makes artworks that live directly in the systems they critique, instead of hiding inside white-walled galleries.”

MSCHF made headlines last Sunday when it revealed its “Satan Shoe” design, which was a reimagined version of the Nike Air Max 97 sneaker that was designed with “one drop of human blood” featured in the sole air bubble, as well as biblical imagery, such as bronze pentagrams and the “Luke 10:18” Bible passage that reads, “I Saw Satan Fall Like Lightning From Heaven.”

Nike, who was not involved in the creation of the “Satan Shoe,” swiftly filed a lawsuit on Monday against the fashion label for trademark infringement, false designation of origin, trademark dilution and common law trademark. On Thursday, a judge granted Nike’s request of a temporary hold on MSCHF’s production and sales of the “Satan Shoe.”

MSCHF’s statement reiterated that Nike was not involved in the creation of the “Satan Shoe,” but stated the label was “honestly surprised” by the Nike lawsuit. The statement references MSCHF’s “Jesus Shoes” it released last year, which were also a reimagined version of the Nike Air Max 97 sneakers that included biblical imagery. MSCHF stated the “Jesus Shoes” “conflates celebrity collaborations culture and brand worship with religious worship into a limited-edition line of art objects.”

It went on to say that the Lil Nas X “Satan Shoe” is no different than its “Jesus Shoes.”

“Satan is as much part of the art historical canon as Jesus, from Renaissance Hellmouths to Milton,” the statement continued. “Satan exists as the challenger to the ultimate authority. We were delighted to work with Lil Nas X on Satan Shoes and continue this dialogue.”

The statement concludes with MSCHF stating it hopes to work with Nike and the court to resolve the lawsuit.

“MSCHF strongly believes in the freedom of expression, and nothing is more important than our ability, and the ability of other artists like us, to continue with our work over the coming years.”

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