The battle over Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” has reportedly been settled. Following a temporary restraining order granted against MSCHF for its much talked about collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X, on Thursday evening, USA Today received a statement from Nike stating that the streetwear brand has agreed to a recall of the controversial kicks based on Nike’s Air Max 97 design. MSCHF is offering to buy back the run of 666 pairs of shoes (only one of which was still in the brand’s possession at the time of Nike’s filing) at their original retail price of $1,018 per pair, “in order to remove the product from circulation,” notes USA Today.
Good luck with that.
As previously noted by The Glow Up, given the large resale market for modified and customized Nikes, the company’s opposition to the shoe—which featured a pentagram pendant, Bible verse referencing the fall of Satan (Luke 10:18, corresponding to the price of the shoe), and a drop of human blood amid the 60 cc of red ink in the shoe’s sole—felt a more than a bit hypocritical and a clear reaction to a largely Christian conservative uproar. This was especially glaring given that Nike had presented no such objection to MSCHF’s previously released “Jesus Shoes” (which boasted “holy water” in the soles) on the same silhouette only two years before. Clearly, that callout was heard and received, as MSCHF’s buy-back agreement includes the Jesus Shoes.
Additionally, USA Today reports, “Customers who don’t return the shoes should report future product issues, defects or health concerns to MSCHF instead of Nike, the footwear company added.”
Don’t weep for MSCHF, though; the publicity has no doubt been priceless. The brand’s attorney David Bernstein said the company “was pleased with the settlement,” having “already achieved its artistic purpose.”
“The 666 shoes…were individually numbered works of art that will continue to represent the ideals of equality and inclusion wherever they are displayed,” Bernstein added (h/t USA Today). “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.”
It’s important to note that Lil Nas X was never named in Nike’s suit, and is not liable for any damages or legal fees in the case (though he can certainly volunteer to do so). As of Thursday, he’d offered no formal comment to USA Today on the outcome of the case or the demise of his immediately sold out collaboration with MSCHF, a cross-promotional release timed with his equally controversial “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)“ single and video. Of course, that didn’t stop the Grammy-winning rapper, who turns 22 today, April 9, from some award-level trolling on social media...with a dash of self-promotion, of course.