Nike has come under fire for their new Satan Shoes. We take a look at the controversy and decide if Nike is really to blame.
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The Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes”
On March 26th, 2021, Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF, the Brooklyn-based creative collective known for boundary-pushing designs and products, over their latest creation: Satan Shoes. The Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes,” which sold out in less than a minute after going on sale for $1,018 a pair, are modified Nike Air Max 97 sneakers with a pentagram pendant, inverted cross relics, and red ink and propylene glycol (aka melted human blood) filling the air bubbles in the shoes’ soles.
The back story of the Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes”
The Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” are a limited edition collaboration between Nike and the Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF. The shoes were released on March 29, 2021 and sold out almost immediately.
The Satan Shoes are based on the Nike Air Max 97 silhouette and feature a black and red colorway with pentagrams and a 666-embossed Swoosh logo. They are also equipped with an airbag filled with 60cc of red ink mixed with one drop of human blood.
MSCHF creative director Jonah Pearlman told AskMen that the idea for the Satan Shoes came about as a way to “subvert” Nike’s massive marketing machine.
“We knew that if we could piggyback off of their marketing train, we could Trojan horse our way into culture in a way that would be really powerful,” Pearlman said.
Nike was not happy about the Satan Shoes and quickly issued a cease and desist order to MSCHF. However, MSCHF has no plans to stop selling the shoes and has already shipped them to customers who ordered them.
The design of the Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes”
On March 29, 2021, Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF, the creators of the Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes,” alleging that the company infringed on its trademark with the design of the shoes. The Satan Shoes are a modified version of Nike’s popular Air Max 97 sneaker, and they feature a pentagram pendant, red embroidered laces, and a bronze plate with the biblical verse “Luke 10:18,” which reads, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” In response to Nike’s lawsuit, MSCHF released a statement saying that it “stands firmly behind the work.”
The reaction to the Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes”
Last week, Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF, the company behind theSatan Shoes, for trademark infringement. The Satan Shoes are a modified version of Nike’s Air Max 97s that feature a pentagram pendant,666 on the side, and red ink and human blood in the sole. These modifications led many to believe that the shoes were “consecrated in Satan’s name” which concerned religious groups and Nike customers. Many people also took to social media to voice their outrage at Nike for partnering with MSCHF, thinking that Nike was promoting Satanism.
Nike has since released a statement saying that they did not design or produce the Satan Shoes, and they do not support MSCHF’s decision to modify their products. Nike is requesting that MSCHF stop selling the Satan Shoes, and they are also asking for damages. It remains to be seen how this legal battle will play out, but it seems likely that Nike will come out on top.
The meaning behind the Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes”
The Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” released on March 29, 2021 and were quickly sold out. The shoes, which are a collaboration between Nike and Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF, feature a black and red colorway with a pentagram pendant and “MSCHF” and “NIKE” branding on the outside of the shoe. The sole of the shoe is filled with 60cc of red ink, and each shoe is individually numbered.
The shoes have caused quite a stir online, with many people questioning the meaning behind the design. While Nike has distanced itself from the collaboration, saying that they did not design or approve the final product, MSCHF has been characteristically tight-lipped about the inspiration behind the shoe.
Some have speculated that the Satan Shoes are a commentary on the commercialization of sneakers, while others have interpreted them as a statement against Nike’s corporate practices. Others still believe that they are simply meant to be provocative and shocking.
Whatever the true meaning behind the Satan Shoes may be, one thing is for sure: they have sparked quite a bit of controversy.
Is Nike really partnering with MSCHF?
In early 2021, Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF, alleging that the company’s “Satan Shoes” infringed on Nike’s trademarks. The shoes in question are a modified version of Nike’s Air Max 97s, with a pentagram pendant, 666 on the tongue tag, and “MSCHF” and “LU IS XVII” on the heel tabs.
While Nike has since ended its partnership with MSCHF, the Satan Shoes controversy has called into question the company’s ties to the Satanic Temple. Nike has long been associated with 666, the so-called “number of the beast,” thanks to its “Just Do It” slogan and the fact that its founders’ names (Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman) add up to 13. And in recent years, Nike has made no secret of its interest in subverting religious symbols; in 2017, it launched a line of sneakers featuring an image of Jesus Christ on the heel.
So did Nike really partner with MSCHF to create Satan Shoes? It’s unlikely. While Nike may be interested in courting controversy, it’s unlikely that it would do so in such a blatant way. It’s more likely that MSCHF created the Satan Shoes without Nike’s knowledge or approval.
What does Nike have to say about the Satan Shoes?
In light of the recent controversy surrounding Nike’s release of the Satan Shoes, we reached out to the company for comment. Here is their statement in full:
“Nike does not design or sell Satan Shoes. We are aware of a limited edition shoe that customization platform MSCHF created and sold without Nike’s approval or authorization. We do not endorse or support this product in any way.”
How long will the Satan Shoes be available for?
The Satan Shoes will be available for a limited time only.
Where can I buy the Satan Shoes?
The Nike Satan Shoes are not currently for sale, and it is unclear if or when they will be available for purchase. The controversy surrounding the shoes has largely died down, but interested parties can still view pictures of the shoes online.
The final thoughts on the Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes”
The Nike x MSCHF Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” sold out in less than a minute, but not before Nike filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against MSCHF. The shoes, which featured a pentagram pendant and “666” on the side, were inspired by the 1995 film “The Devils Advocate.”
MSCHF has since stated that it will no longer be selling the Satan Shoes, and has issued refunds to customers who purchased them. Nike has also offered to refund customers who purchased the shoes.