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Company behind Lil Nas X 'Satan Shoes' to issue a voluntary recall after Nike lawsuit

Entertainment Weekly logo Entertainment Weekly 4/9/2021 Maureen Lee Lenker
a man wearing a hat: Lil Nas X holding a 'Satan Shoe' © MSCHF Lil Nas X holding a 'Satan Shoe'

Put a (pitch)fork in Lil Nas X's Satan Shoes, they're done.

On Thursday, news broke of a settlement between creator MSCHF and Nike over the shoes, which Nike had previously blocked sales of with a temporary restraining order. The two companies agreed that MSCHF would issue a voluntary recall and provide a buy-back program for both the Satan Shoes and previously released unauthorized Jesus Shoes.

Nike confirmed the news of the settlement to EW. "Nike and MSCHF have agreed to settle the lawsuit. As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation," a Nike spokesperson told EW. "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 man wearing a hat: MSCHF Lil Nas X holding a 'Satan Shoe' © Provided by Entertainment Weekly MSCHF Lil Nas X holding a 'Satan Shoe'

In a statement to EW, counsel for MSCHF said the company was "pleased with the settlement."

"With these Satan Shoes — which sold out in less than a minute — MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance.... The artistic messages MSCHF hoped to share with these shoes were also powerfully communicated through Lil Nas X's music video 'Montero (Call Me By Your Name)', and were dramatically amplified by the Nike lawsuit, which brought extraordinary publicity to MSCHF and its works of art."

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The company said it looked forward to presenting its defense in court, but added that "having already achieved its artistic purpose, MSCHF recognized that settlement was the best way to allow it to put this lawsuit behind it so that it could dedicate its time to new artistic and expressive projects."

The lawsuit was filed on March 29 after the news broke that MSCHF would release the Satan Shoes, which used an unauthorized Nike Air Max 97 as its base. Nike filed a trademark infringement and dilution suit against the brand.

The custom-designed shoes were released in conjunction with Lil Nas X's "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" video, in which the rapper and singer slides down a stripper pole to Hell to offer Satan a lap dance before killing him.

The sneakers feature a pentagram, "Luke 10:18" (in reference to the Bible verse about Lucifer falling like lightning from Heaven), and one drop of human blood per pair. MSCHF produced a limited 666 pairs of the shoes, and they sold out in minutes after being offered for $1,018.

Both the music video and the shoes sparked a backlash from conservative groups, igniting a rash of homophobic and bigoted responses on social media that Lil Nas X has actively defended himself against on Twitter.

The shoes themselves prompted for some to call for a boycott of Nike, which the company used to argue as evidence of the dilution of their brand in the case.

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