Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: MSCHF
Nike are suing the company behind Lil Nas X's line of customised 'Satan shoes', each containing a drop of human blood in an air bubble in the sole.
The 666 pairs of trainers - a collab between the company and Lil Nas X and priced at $1,018 - have already sold out.
Six workers at Brooklyn-based company MSCHF donated blood for the shoes. MSCHF is already known for selling products including toaster-shaped bath bombs and rubber-chicken bongs, according to the NYT.
Their release follows the roll-out of Lil Nas X's new song 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)', and a music video featuring the star giving the devil a lap dance that has attracted fierce backlash from conservatives.
"We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X"
"We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF [sic]," Nike said in a statement on Sunday. "Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.”
It yesterday emerged that Nike was suing MSCHF, alleging in a US district court that the “unauthorized Satan Shoes are likely to cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association between MSCHF’s products and Nike.
"In fact, there is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF's Satan Shoes, based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorised or approved this product."
“Decisions about what products to put the ‘swoosh’ [the Nike logo] on belong to Nike, not to third parties like MSCHF,” Nike added in its lawsuit. “Nike requests that the court immediately and permanently stop MSCHF from fulfilling all orders for its unauthorized Satan Shoes.”
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Lil Nas has posting a meme referencing the lawsuit, of a homeless cartoon character with the caption: "Me after the nike lawsuit."
South Dakota governor Kristi Noem slammed the shoes - also featuring an inverted cross and a pentagram - over the weekend, tweeting: "Our kids are being told that this kind of product is, not only okay, it's 'exclusive.' But do you know what's more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul.
"We are in a fight for the soul of our nation. We need to fight hard. And we need to fight smart. We have to win."
To this, LNX replied: "Ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!"
The star, who is gay, recently told TIME of his music video: “I feel like we’ve come to a time in music where everything is nice and nothing is really cutting edge or starting conversations any more. I want to be part of a conversation that actually applies to my situation and so many people that I know."
The 21-year-old added: "I grew up in a pretty religious kind of home - and for me, it was fear-based very much.
“Even as a little child, I was really scared of every single mistake I may or may not have made. I want kids growing up feeling these feelings, knowing they’re a part of the LGBTQ community, to feel like they’re O.K. and they don’t have to hate themselves."