Company to offer refunds to buyers of ‘Satan shoes’ to settle Nike lawsuit

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A Brooklyn company that has been sued by Nike for the unauthorized sale of Satan Shoes – an aftermarket sneaker containing a drop of blood and promoted by rapper Lil Nas X – agreed on Thursday to accept the shoes’ return as part a regulation.

The company, MSCHF, will offer refunds to people who wish to return the sneakers under the terms of the settlement, according to Nike, who said in a statement that the purpose of the “voluntary recall” was to remove the shoes from circulation.

The settlement came a week after a Brooklyn U.S. District Court judge granted Nike a temporary restraining order against MSCHF (pronounced mischief) after suing the company last month.

A total of 666 pairs of Satan shoes were produced by MSCHF, which incorporated drops of blood and ink from its employees into an air bubble in the Nike Air Max 97 sneakers. Each pair costs $ 1,018. They sold out in less than a minute last month.

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Many highly sought-after sneakers were quickly offered for sale on auction sites like eBay for three or four times the original price, apparently making it less likely that buyers would ask for a refund.

A seller was looking for $ 15,000 for a pair of size 8 Satan shoes, featuring the Nike brand swoosh logo and a bronze pentagram charm. “Luke 10:18” – a reference to the Bible passage that says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” – is imprinted on it.

A previous line of unauthorized Nike sneakers sold by MSCHF, which was called the Jesus shoe and contained holy water, can also be returned for a refund, Nike said.

“In both cases, MSCHF modified these shoes without Nike’s permission,” Nike said in a statement Thursday. “Nike had nothing to do with Satan shoes or Jesus shoes.”

An MSCHF lawyer did not dispute that the company agreed to the voluntary buyout, but said Thursday he could not disclose the terms of the settlement.

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“With these Satan Shoes – which sold out in less than a minute – MSCHF heard comment on the absurdity of the culture of collaboration practiced by some brands, and the pernicious of intolerance,” said lawyer David H. Bernstein in an email statement Thursday.

The collaboration between Lil Nas X and MSCHF coincided with the rapper’s release of a devil-themed music video for his song “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)”, in which he spins in Satan’s lap.

In the song, Lil Nas X, who was born Montero Lamar Hill, “happily rejoices in lust as a gay man,” wrote Jon Pareles, the New York Times’ chief music critic.

Lil Nas X was released in 2019. The title of the song is an apparent reference to “Call Me by Your Name,” a novel about an underground summer romance between two men that has been adapted into a film.

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Mr Bernstein said all but one pair of Satan shoes had been shipped to buyers before the temporary restraining order was issued on April 1.

He described the sneakers, which are individually numbered, as works of art that represent the ideals of equality and inclusion. Mr Bernstein said MSCHF was eager to argue that its activities were covered by the First Amendment right of artistic expression.

“However, having already achieved her artistic goal, MSCHF recognized that the settlement was the best way to allow her to put this lawsuit behind her so that she could devote her time to new artistic and expressive projects,” he said. .

Nike said it would not be responsible for the issues with the sneakers people decide to keep.

“Buyers who choose not to return their shoes and later experience a product problem, defect or health issue should contact MSCHF, not Nike,” the company said.

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