Nike Inc. and MSCHF Product Studio agreed to settle a lawsuit over “Satan Shoes” -- MSCHF’s customized sneakers with a satanic theme, complete with human blood -- that were based on the athleticwear giant’s Air Max 97 line.
As part of the agreement, MSCHF will start a voluntary recall of the Satan Shoes and the previously released Jesus Shoes, which were also based on Nike sneakers. MSCHF will buy back the products at their original retail prices to remove them from circulation, Nike said in a statement Thursday.
“Nike had nothing to do with the Satan Shoes or the Jesus Shoes,” the athleticwear maker said. “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.”
A notice of the settlement hasn’t yet been filed with the court.
MSCHF said a settlement was the best way to put the lawsuit behind it and allow it to dedicate its time to new artistic and expressive projects, but in a statement confirming the agreement it excoriated the shoemaker.
“MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance,” said David H. Bernstein, a lawyer representing the art collective.
Nike sued MSCHF, pronounced “mischief,” in March and won a temporary restraining order barring the sales of the shoes on April 1. But a judge declined Nike’s request to recall the 666 shoes that were produced. Nike said at the time that the shoes could dilute or tarnish its brand.
The shoes sold out in less than a minute, and 665 of 666 were shipped to collectors before the restraining order was put in place, Bernstein said.
The shoes “were individually numbered works of art that will continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion wherever they are displayed,” Bernstein said.
The shoes were created in collaboration with singer Lil Nas X, famous for “Old Town Road,” and featured a red embroidered satanic-theme and a bronze pentagram. The midsole of the shoes contained red ink and a drop of human blood.
The release of the shoes coincided with Lil Nas X’s “Call Me By Your Name” video.
“The parties are pleased to put this dispute behind them,” Nike said Thursday.
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