MSCHF’s attempt to block a Nike-requested temporary restraining order over the controversial Lil Nas X “Satan” shoes has come up short.
According to CBS News, Nike’s request for a temporary restraining order barring MSCHF, a Brooklyn-based product studio, from fulfilling orders for the custom, blood-injected Air Max 97 sneakers has been granted. The Hollywood Reporter adds that a judge ruled the shoes must be taken off of the market. Nike sued MSCHF on Monday, accusing the studio of misleading consumers into believing the custom shoes were an official Nike product and that, by proxy, the brand was endorsing satanism.
One complication with the injunction is that the shoes technically are already off the market, after the individually numbered pairs sold out in seconds upon their Monday launch. Furthermore, MSCHF claims that 665 of the 666 total sneakers had already been shipped to buyers. Nike’s lawyers aren’t buying it, CBS News says, and are quoted as having “some serious doubts” that MSCHF was able to fulfill all the orders in such a short period of time. Posts from social media suggest that at least some of the pairs have already been delivered, with some users sharing in-hand images of the Satan-themed sneakers.
MSCHF, which describes itself as a “conceptual art collective known for interventions that engage fashion, art, tech, and capitalism in various, often unexpected, mediums” issued a lengthy response today after the temporary restraining order was granted. The crux of the agency’s argument in that statement is that since Nike didn’t take action against the MSCHF Jesus sneakers from 2019, it shouldn’t be able to do so with the Satan shoes.
“Over a year ago we released the Jesus Shoes,” reads the statement. “As a manifested speculative artwork Jesus Shoes conflates celebrity collab culture and brand worship with religious worship into a limited edition line of art objects. Last week’s release of the Satan Shoes, in collaboration with Lil Nas X, was no different. Satan Shoes started a conversation, while also living natively in its space. It is art created for people to observe, speculate on, purchase, and own. Heresy only exists in relation to doctrine: who is Nike to censor one but not the other?…We were honestly surprised by the action Nike has taken, and immediately after Nike’s counsel sent us notice we reached out but received no response. 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.”
MSCHF says that the ruling will cause Lil Nas X’s planned Twitter giveaway for the 666th pair to be postponed indefinitely.
When reached for comment, Nike confirmed the temporary restraining order and said it did not have any further details on pending legal matters.