Makers of the “Satan Shoes”, trainers released in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X, have been told not to ship any orders after Nike filed a lawsuit against the company.
The controversial trainers are Nike Air Max 97s, “modified” with a pentagram and an inscription of the words “Luke 10:18”, referencing the Bible verse "He replied, 'I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven”. The shoes had been produced by conceptual art collective company MSCHF Product Studio, which claims to make artworks that “live directly in the systems they critique”.
Earlier this week, Nike accused the Brooklyn-based company of trademark infringement arguing that the “Satan Shoes” were damaging Nike’s reputation. Following calls from consumers to boycott the sportswear giant in response to the release of the shoes, Nike filed a motion demanding that MSCHF stop sales.
On Thursday, a US court sided with Nike and demanded that the company fulfil Nike’s motion and stop sales and production of the trainers as well of any further use of the Nike trademark until 14th April, when MSCHF is due to appear in court.
In response to the judge’s ruling, MSCHF said they were “honestly surprised” by the action that Nike had taken and said they had tried to get in touch with Nike but had received no response.
The statement continues: “MSCHF strongly believes in the freedom of expression, and nothing is more important than our ability, and the ability of other artists like us, to continue with our work over the coming years.
“We look forward to working with Nike and the court to resolve this case in the most expeditious manner.”
The shoes, which reportedly contain a drop of human blood in their soles, had retailed at $1,018 (£736) and had sold out within minutes of their release. As a result of the judge’s ruling, one remaining pair of the trainers, which Lil Nas X was intending give away on Twitter, can no longer be legally sent out.
In a tweet, he said: “sorry guys I’m legally not allowed to give the 666th pair away anymore because of the crying nerds on the internet”.
The release of the shoes has sparked outrage among many evangelical leaders including Franklin Graham, who commented that “the morals of the country have fallen so low”.