The sneaker market – including rare, collectible and custom ones – is currently worth just over US$84 billion and is expected to grow to just under US$120 billion by 2026. One of, otherwise the, The biggest name in collectible sneakers is Nike, the American sportswear giant forming partnerships with streetwear companies and celebrities who, in turn, help create the sneaker resale industry.
But most rare custom sneakers bearing the iconic Nike “Swoosh” logo are designed and produced by the company itself. However, according to BNC News, Rapper Lil Nas X recently ordered a custom pair of Nike shoes that the sportswear giant doesn’t approve of at all.
Dubbed “Satan Shoes” and produced in collaboration with Brooklyn-based streetwear company MSCHF, the Old Town Road The rapper’s signature shoe – a modified pair of Nike Air Max 97 – comes with his own drop of genuine human blood embedded in the sole, as well as a pentagram pendant and references to the Bible verse Luke 10:18 which reads ” I saw Satan lightning down from heaven.
They definitely aren’t for everyone… But the 666 pairs sold out (understandably) on Monday, March 29 at a price of US$1,018 a pair. It’s unclear whether the timing of the release was strategic or not, given that the previous Sunday was Palm Sunday, a Christian holiday that falls on the Sunday before Easter.
This, coupled with the message that the shoes promote, has drawn complaints from all corners of the internet, with many commentators accusing Nike of licensing the shoes. As BNC News reports, the sportswear giant was apparently unaware the shoes were being produced, saying “We have no relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF.”
“Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.”
In fact, Nike isn’t so keen on endorsing them that it’s suing both Lil Nas X and MSCHF for “trademark infringement,” according to Yahoo! News. The filed complaint asks MSCHF to stop selling the shoes and is barred from using the company’s Swoosh logo for future releases.
“There is already evidence of significant market confusion and dilution, including calls to boycott Nike in response to the launch of MSCHF’s Satan shoes based on the mistaken belief that Nike authorized or endorsed this product,” Nike said in its complaint filing. .
The American rapper, who released his new song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” with the shoes, took to Twitter to post a number of memes and images that seem sarcastic, as he apparently finds all the situation rather funny.
we decided to drop them to even the score. are you all happy now? pic.twitter.com/RGpCiiRbGb
– no 🏹 (@LilNasX) March 28, 2021
He also posted a short 46 second video on YouTube titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe”. dance on the devil.
The “shoe of Satan”, whatever your opinion, sparks a fiery debate. While Nike can’t control the reseller market where pairs of its sneakers are priced much higher than their original price, what can the company realistically do to prevent others, like MSCHF, to customize their own pairs?
Some commentators blamed Nike…
It’s not difficult.
When someone asks you if they can make “Satan Shoes” under your brand…
YOU SAY NO.
– Amber Krabach for WA (@AK4WA) March 28, 2021
However, some have come to the defense of the sportswear company, saying their shoes can be purchased and customized without permission.
I just need you to realize that Nike is not at fault here. Any company’s product can be purchased at full price, customized, and resold. Many of these executives are as crazy about it as you are.
— Prometheus (@urdadsburner) March 28, 2021
The results of Nike’s trial should hopefully settle the matter once and for all.
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