Nike is suing MSCHF, a small Brooklyn-based company, over its sale of 666 pairs of altered Nike Air Max 97s as “Satan Shoes” in collaboration with the rapper Lil Nas X.
The claim alleges that the company, MSCHF Product Studio Inc, infringed on and diluted Nike’s trademark.
The black-and-red, devil-themed shoes sold out within a minute of going on sale online on Monday.
The shoes are customised Nike Air Max 97 sneakers that contain red ink and “one drop of human blood” in the sole, according to a website describing the 666 limited edition pairs.
In each pair, the back of one shoe says MSCHF and the other says Lil Nas X.
They sold for $1,018 per pair, in reference to the Bible passage Luke 10:18, which reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Nike, in its lawsuit filed in federal court in New York, said the shoes were produced “without Nike’s approval and authorisation,” and the company was “in no way connected with this project.”
“There is already evidence of significant confusion and dilution occurring in the marketplace, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan Shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike has authorised or approved this product,” the lawsuit said.
Nike asked the court to immediately stop MSCHF from fulfilling orders for the shoes and requested a jury trial to seek damages.
Representatives for Lil Nas X and MSCHF did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Concerning the blood in the sneakers, Some workplaces encourage employees to donate blood as an act of charity. But six workers at MSCHF, a quirky company based in Brooklyn that’s known for products like toaster-shaped bath bombs and rubber-chicken bongs, offered their blood for a new line of shoes.
“‘Sacrificed’ is just a cool word — it was just the MSCHF team that gave the blood,” one of MSCHF’s founders, Daniel Greenberg, said in an email on Sunday. (Asked who collected the blood, Mr. Greenberg replied, “Uhhhhhh yeah hahah not medical professionals we did it ourselves lol.”)
A drop of blood is mixed in with ink that fills an air bubble in the sneaker, a Nike Air Max 97, Mr. Greenberg said.
“Not much blood, actually” was collected, he said, adding, “About six of us on the team gave.”
MSCHF started selling 666 pairs of the shoes — each pair cost $1,018 — on Monday as a follow-up to a line of Jesus Shoes, which contained holy water. They sold out in less than a minute.