Fresh on the heels of his eternal stripper pole to hell hit music video, Lil Nas X should be laughing at all the ney sayers who ever doubted him, laughing all the way to the bank and laughing at how much money his new sneakers are gonna make. The brand new kicks are released to coincide with his provocative new homoerotic video in which he is literally banished to hell, wearing thigh-high hooker boots and along the way seduces satan with face licking and a lap dance.
In partnership with Brooklyn-based shoe collective MSCHF, the sneaker reportedly was produced with real “sacrificial” human blood. But WHO’s blood, though? Do they mean the blood of someone who actually died? Is that the definition of ‘death’ in this context?
It could be all just one big publicity hoax to ride the wave of millions of youtube views and delicious controversy the new song has garnered. Whatever the case, global sneaker giant Nike finds nothing funny about the sneakers at all.
As it turns out, the red, satan-themed Nike Air Max 97s are unauthorized replicas from the Nike family of footwear. They’ve been modified to the theme of Nas’s demonic dance hit, “Montero – Call me by your name” – but reportedly without Nike’s blessing.
Newsweek reports that Nike is now suing MSCHF Product Studio for infringing upon their trademark by manufacturing 666 (I see what they did there) pairs of modified Nike sneakers in collaboration with the new music release. According to Newsweek, Nike is demanding that MSCHF “permanently stop” fulfilling orders for the “unauthorized” Lil Nas X Satan Shoes:
“MSCHF and its unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike,” the sportswear giant says in the lawsuit.
The case is somewhat confusing because there is no law against selling modified branded items. However, if there is no distinction made about the products being created independent of the original design creator, problems arise.
In this instance, I think it’s Lil Nas’s video controversy that’s driving Nike’s decision to shut the sneaker down. I can’t say I blame them, considering the pushback from the public. Lil Nas X as a pop star can thrive in the controversy, but as for Nike, becoming known as the Devils brand could be the kiss of death.
Court documents reveal that Nike already claims damage to their brand since the “Satan Shoes” were announced, including online chatter of people questioning if Nike was endorsing satanism. Amid the scandal, an exciting twist was pointed out by die-hard sneakerheads. They recalled that in 2019 MSCHF Studio also made a pair of modified Nikes called “Jesus Shoes.” Nike took no legal action against them for that design, though.
I guess they have to draw the line somewhere and if they are perceived to endorse sex with Satan, Nike could quickly see their profits going to straight hell.
Currently the video for “Montero – Call me by your name” has over 58,000,000 views