The brief, but very public dispute between Nike and Brooklyn-based product design studio MSCHF over Lil Nas X’s controversial “Satan Shoes” has been resolved.
Today, both Nike and MSCHF confirmed that they’ve agreed to settle the lawsuit over the much-talked-about sneakers. As part of the settlement, MSCHF will offer a voluntary recall to buy back any pairs of the “Satan Shoes” for their original retail prices in an effort to remove them from circulation. The same offer will be extended to customers who purchased the “Jesus Shoes,” a custom Air Max 97 release from MSCHF in 2019 that was said to have holy water from the River Jordan in its Air unit. Nike’s full statement can be read below:
Today, April 8th, Nike and MSCHF have agreed to settle the lawsuit.As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation.If any purchasers were confused, or if they otherwise want to return their shoes, they may do so for a full refund. Purchasers who choose not to return their shoes and later encounter a product issue, defect, or health concern should contact MSCHF, not Nike.The parties are pleased to put this dispute behind them.
A separate statement released by MSCHF and its legal counsel stated that the shoes were “intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance.” They added, “Having already achieved its artistic purpose, MSCHF recognized that settlement was the best way to allow it to put this lawsuit behind it so that it could dedicate its time to new artistic and expressive projects.”
Released last month in conjunction with the rapper’s chart-topping single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” the customized Nike Air Max 97s not only featured graphic elements tied to Satanism, but were also limited to a public run of 666 pairs and housed at least a drop of human blood in the midsole. The tie-in was a scene in Lil Nas X’s video for the song, during which he seduces Satan with a lapdance before ultimately snapping his neck and taking his throne in hell.
Predictably, and by design, the shoes were met with widespread criticism online, resulting in Nike being a top trend on social platforms like Twitter for “promoting Satanism.” The company swiftly responded by releasing a statement distancing itself from MSCHF and the customs, clarifying that it has no connection to the product or the parties involved in its creation. Furthermore, Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF on the same day the shoes were released, alleging that MSCHF was “deceiving consumers into believing that Nike manufactures or approves of the Satan shoes” and causing the brand significant harm in the process. Last week, Nike was granted a temporary restraining order that barred MSCHF from fulfilling orders for the sneakers, despite the fact that they had mostly already been sold and shipped.
The settlement of this lawsuit seemingly puts the issue between Nike and MSCHF to bed for now. A quick eBay search reveals that pairs of the “Satan Shoes” are currently reselling for more than $3,000, so it’s unlikely that many will make it back to MSCHF for retail, but the desired statement appears to have been made by both parties.