After Lil Nas X caused more controversy using Satanic imagery than any black metal band in decades, Nike got some bad publicity for being tangentially associated with him and decided to sue. Now, the matter has been settled and a recall has been ordered.
As part of the roll-out of his new song, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," which features the Black gay rapper giving Satan a lap dance, there was a release of 666 pairs of limited edition "Satan Shoes" which were modded Nike sneakers designed by MSCHF Product Studio.
Feeling the wave of negative publicity and confusion as to Nike's involvement, the major sneaker brand sued saying the artists were creating confusion in the marketplace, and then filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction.
MSCHF's high-powered attorneys argued the shoes were "not typical sneakers, but rather individually-numbered works of art that were sold to collectors for $1,018 each."
Nike retorted saying they "submitted evidence that even sophisticated sneakerheads were confused," saying there was even a boycott of Nike started. "We have submitted numerous evidence that some consumers are saying they will never buy Nike shoes ever again. [..] There's no bright line but the more famous the mark — and we think Nike's swoosh is one of most famous mark of all time — the more protection it is afforded"
A settlement was reached out of court and now MSCHF are willingly issuing a refund to any purchasers who send their sneakers back.
"MSCHF altered these shoes without Nike's authorization," the company said in a statement reported by The Verge. "As part of the settlement, Nike has asked MSCHF, and MSCHF has agreed, to initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes … to remove them from circulation."
If any purchasers were confused, Nike said they may return their shoes 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." I'm sure their not worried.
Overall, it looks as though this is a win for MSCHF. The company made a statement "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."