Nike Sues to Stop Sale of Lil Nas X's 'Satan Shoes'

Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Brooklyn-based MSCHF Product Studio Inc., which is selling the controversial "Satan Shoes" in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X. The shoes, which are based on Nike Air Max 97s, cost $1,018 per pair and quickly sold out when they went on sale Monday. Each shoe includes a drop of real human blood, collected from the MSCHF art collective's members.

After Lil Nas X introduced the shoes, Nike quickly sent a statement to CNN confirming the company had nothing to do with them. "We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas or MSCHF," the Portland, Oregon-based company said. "Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them." Later on Monday, the Portland Business Journal reported that Nike filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF in the Eastern District of New York.

The shows were created "without Nike's approval or authorization, and Nike is in no way connected to this project," the company stated in the lawsuit. The company pointed to criticism on social media, with some claiming they would never buy Nike again. The company is asking the judge to order the shoes to be destroyed and award Nike the profits from the sales of the shoes. Nike is also asking for punitive damages.

The black "Satan Shoes" features a bronze pentagram and an inverted cross. Each shoes' sole has 60 cubic centimeters of red ink and a drop of human blood. The blood was collected from MSCF staff over the course of a week. "We love to sacrifice for our art," MSCHF said in a statement. The collective also confirmed Nike was not involved in creating the shoes. Only 666 pairs of the Satan Shoes were made. The $1,018 price tag was also a Biblical reference. "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven," reads Luke 10:18.

Lil Nas X announced the new shoes after releasing his latest music video for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)." In the Biblically-themed music video, the "Old Town Road" rapper is seen dancing with a devil character. On Sunday, he shared a video titled "Lil Nas X Apologies for Satan Shoe," which began as an apology video, but quickly cut to one of the more provocative scenes from the "Montero" video.

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The rapper, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, responded to the backlash against the "Montero" video and the "Satan Shoes" by pointing out the struggles he faced as a gay teenager. "I'll be honest all this backlash is putting an emotional toll on me," Lil Nas X tweeted on Monday. "I try to cover it with humor but it's getting hard. My anxiety is higher than ever and stream 'Call Me By Your Name' on all platforms now!"