The company behind the so-called "Satan Shoes" has blasted the decision by Nike to block the sales and shipping of the MSCHF-modified version of its Air Max 97s sneakers via a lawsuit. MSCHF insists that the Satan Shoes are "works of art" created for people to "observe, speculate on, purchase and own".
Nike, however, rejected these claims, insisting in the lawsuit that "sophisticated sneakerheads were confused" by the MSCHF product, which kept the company's logo despite undergoing several modifications, such as an added pentagram and a drop of human blood in its sole. The sneaker-making giant stressed that the MSCHF "did not create a single shoe-shaped sculpture to sit in a museum", but instead simply "materially altered" Nikes' Air Max 97s without the company's "approval or authorisation".
Notably, this is not the first time MSCHF has used Nike sneakers for one of its projects, which it describes as efforts to engage in "fashion, art, tech and capitalism in various, often unexpected mediums". Previously, the "conceptual art collective" created a batch of "Jesus shoes", which did not generate backlash from conservative-minded netizens (as the "Satan Shoes" surely has) and did not face a lawsuit from Nike.
The MSCHF said it was "honestly surprised" by Nike's lawsuit and stressed that they repeatedly notified customers about not being affiliated with the sneaker-maker. MSCHF added that it tried to reach out to Nike, but received no response.
American rapper Lil Nas X, who participated in the "Satan Shoes" project by making and promoting them, was equally disappointed with Nike's decision and the actions of the "crying nerds on the internet", which apparently led to it.
"I feel like it’s fucked up they have so much power they can get shoes cancelled. Freedom of expression gone out the window", the rapper said.
He further warned his fans that, at the moment, he couldn't fulfil his promise of gifting the last 666th pair of the modified sneakers due to the Nike lawsuit.