Nike has just won its lawsuit against the company MSCHF, which, in collaboration with the American artist Lil Nas X, transformed 666 pairs of Air Max 97 into « satanic shoes » before selling them a few days ago at 1,018 dollars (nearly 570,000 FCFA) per pair. The brand with the comma managed to prevent the delivery of the shoes in question to their buyers.
The end of the « Satan Shoes » scandal in the United States?
The satanic shoes bearing the Nike insignia have been redesigned, modified and marketed without the prior agreement of the original manufacturer of the Air Max 97. They will no longer be delivered as agreed to their new owners, who paid more than 800 euros for them. This is what the federal court in New York decided on April 1, 2021, when it issued a temporary restraining order against the MSCHF group.
The sports footwear giant Nike claimed trademark infringement. It asked the federal court to suspend delivery of the shoes and then to prohibit the Brooklyn-based artist collective MSCHF from associating its brand with the satanic concept propagated by the group.
He is actually concerned that MSCHF’s controversial new product – which contains a drop of blood in the sole and features a pentagram as well as a Bible verse (Luke 10 v 18) – could cause confusion between his and the MSCHF collective’s items that could lead the public to believe that they are associated on this project.
In its defence, MSCHF, through its lawyers, made it clear that the 666 pairs it obtained after modifying the Air Max 97 were far from ordinary trainers. According to her, they are more like individually numbered works of art that she sold to collectors for $1,018 each.
This argument obviously did not convince the federal judge presiding over the hearing and ultimately tipped the scales in favour of Nike. That said, the impact of the judge’s decision remains unclear for the time being, especially since the Brooklyn-based artist collective has made it clear that it has no intention of reissuing any other pair of shoes.
The reaction of the purchasers of the « Satan Shoes
While Nike’s recent victory over MSCHF is a cause for celebration for most internet users (especially Christians) as well as American conservatives such as South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, it is not quite the case for those who paid $1,018 or more for the Satanic trainers.
Indeed, several purchasers of the « Satan Shoes » share a concern about what will happen to their money. They fear that their money will not be returned to them.
Others, however, like Joseph Rasch of Tennessee, continue to hope that the pair of Satanic shoes they paid for will be delivered. He explains that he paid for it not with the intention of wearing it but rather to use it as a political statement.
I wanted to support a black gay man who is trying to show a different narrative in a predominantly Christian country that is currently dealing with a lot of issues with black people, » he told BBC OS on World Service radio.
A third category of buyers, including McKenzi Norris from South Carolina, a long-time supporter of MSCHF, also stood out. The company’s goal was to sell the satanic trainers at a higher price on specialised online platforms. A project that it will probably not have the opportunity to carry out in view of the unexpected turn of events of the last few days.