*Nike has successfully blocked the sale of Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” — for now.
As EURweb.com previously reported, the rapper announced his limited-edition “Satan” sneaker collection last week — which features a pentagram and real human blood.
Nas X collaborated with the streetwear company MSCHF on the “Satan Shoes,” only 666 pairs of which were released on Monday for $1,018 a pop. According to PEOPLE, they sold out in less than a minute.
Per Yahoo, the controversial kicks are modified Nike Air Max 97s, and reference Luke 10:18, a Bible verse about Satan’s fall from heaven. The human blood in the sole was drawn from members of the MSCHF team.
Nike was quick to distance itself from the shoes earlier this week, noting in a statement “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF,” the company said. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
— jeffstaple (@jeffstaple) March 27, 2021
The fashion apparel giant is now suing MSCHF for a trademark infringement over the use of its “Swoosh” logo, arguing that the Satan shoes damage the brand, and confused customers into believing Nike “endorsed satanism.”
On Wednesday, a U.S. District Court in New York approved Nike’s request for a temporary restraining order against the art collective, blocking further sales of the shoe.
“Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution complaint against MSCHF today related to the Satan Shoes,” Nike told CBS News in a statement Thursday, per CBS. “We don’t have any further details to share on pending legal matters. However, we can tell you we do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF. The Satan Shoes were produced without Nike’s approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected with this project.”
During a hearing on Thursday, MSCHF argued the shoe was a work of art protected by the First Amendment.
“These are not shoes that are worn, there are very few of them. That’s the kind of artwork that we’re talking about,” said Megan Bannigan, attorney for MSCHF.
In the lawsuit against the company, Nike noted that Satan shoes are “likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” claiming that there’s “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.”
“As a direct and proximate result of MSCHF’s wrongful acts, Nike has suffered, continues to suffer, and/or is likely to suffer damage to its trademarks, business reputation, and goodwill that money cannot compensate,” the lawsuit added. “Unless enjoined, MSCHF will continue to use Nike’s Asserted Marks and/or confusingly similar marks and will cause irreparable damage to Nike for which Nike has no adequate remedy at law.”
MSCHF told CBS News in a statement that it “strongly believes in the freedom of expression,” adding that “nothing is more important than our ability, and the ability of other artists like us, to continue with our work over the coming years.”
“We look forward to working with Nike and the court to resolve this case in the most expeditious manner,” the company said.