Nike is suing a New York-based art collective MSCHF over Lil Nas X Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” that contains a drop of human blood.
The claim alleges that the company, MSCHF Product Studio Inc, infringed on and diluted Nike’s trademark. MSCHF released 666 pairs of these Air Max 97’s on Monday, 29 March 2021 in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X and says they sold out in less than a minute.
They released at the price tag of $1,018 a pair, a nod to the Bible verse Luke 10:18 that reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Each shoe contains 60 cubic centimeters (2.03 fluid ounces) of red ink and “one drop” of human blood, in the midsole Air unit, according to MSCHF.
In a statement, Nike said it was not involved in creating these sneakers. “We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF,” the company said. “Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
Los Angeles Times reports that: Nike is alleging trademark infringement since its logos and branding are still clearly visible and recognizable even with the modifications done by MSCHF. It’s also suing for false designation of origin and trademark dilution. It is asking for damages, legal fees and for the court to stop MSCHF from fulfilling orders of the sneakers, which sold out in minutes Monday morning despite the $1,018 price tag. It also asks the court to order MSCHF to cease all sales of Nike products.
Lil Nas X, responded to the news of the lawsuit, tweeting a meme GIF.
This is not the first time MSCHF released something so controversial. In 2019 the company released a Jesus-themed Air Max 97, featuring holy water from the River Jordan in the midsole Air unit.