The “saga” between Nike, MSCHF, and Lil Nas X continues with the sportswear brand getting a win in court that could set a serious precedent from now on.
Three days after Nike filed a lawsuit against MSCHF for its “Satan Shoes” collaboration with Lil Nas X, the Swoosh scored a legal victory. A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order banning MSCF from selling any more of the custom sneakers.
The extremely limited sneakers, which were released in tandem with Lil Nas X’s “controversial” video for his latest single “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name),” featured the rapper giving the Prince of Darkness a lapdance after pole dancing his way to hell put a devilish spin on 666 pairs of Nike Air Max 97 sneakers. The custom kicks featured a pentagram pendant, a reference to the bible verse detailing Lucifer’s fall from Heaven into hell and supposedly a drop of human blood inside the air unit that had “conservative Christians’ clutching their bibles.
Thursday, Business of Fashion shared the judge’s ruling:
“A federal judge on Thursday sided with Nike Inc in ordering a Brooklyn company to temporarily stop further sales of “Satan Shoes” it produced in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.”
“US District Judge Eric Komitee in Brooklyn ruled three days after Nike sued MSCHF Product Studio Inc, claiming that the black-and-red, devil-themed sneakers, which carry the Nike “swoosh” logo, infringed its trademarks…”
“Only 666 pairs, costing $1,018 each, were made. Lil Nas X, known for the song “Old Town Road,” was planning to select who gets the 666th pair, but that plan was shelved following Nike’s lawsuit filed on Monday. He is not a defendant in the case.”
MSCHF’s lawyers argued that “not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art,” while bringing up another collaboration it did in 2019 with Drake called “Jesus shoes” that featured “holy water” in the soles wearers would have the feeling of “walking on water.” Nike didn’t have a knee-jerk reaction did not file a lawsuit against the company.
The judge’s ruling comes after the company has already sold all 666 pairs of the $1,000 sneaker. The final 666th pair was supposed to be given away to a fan by Lil Nas X, who has been publicly voicing his frustration on Twitter about the whole situation while trolling both Nike and haters who have been coming at him for the video and sneaker rollout.
Lil Nas X does have a point if the judge — a conservative-leaning Trump appointee — side in Nike’s favor, how will this affect the sneaker customization market going forward? MSCHF bought those sneakers legally, and it does have the right to customize the sneakers how they want. Will Nike sue other companies who customize kicks for customers?
We will be following this whole saga as it continues to play out.
Photo: VCG / Getty