Nike and the company behind rapper Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” reached a settlement Thursday for a voluntary recall, ending the high-profile legal battle over the controversial sneakers.
As part of the settlement, Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF will “initiate a voluntary recall to buy back any Satan Shoes and Jesus Shoes for their original retail prices, in order to remove them from circulation,” Nike said.
Nike sued MSCHF last month for trademark infringement after MCSHF released a limited run of modified Nike Air Max 97s, which sold out in less than a minute and featured a pentagram pendant, a drop of human blood in the sole of the shoe and “Luke 10:18” written on the midsole, a reference to the Bible verse where Satan falls from Heaven.
An attorney for MSCHF told NBC News that MSCHF agreed to the settlement because the shoe release has “already achieved its artistic purpose,” which was to “comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance.”
The so-called “Satan Shoes” were designed as a tie-in to Lil Nas X’s music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” which features him embracing his queer identity and dancing provocatively with the devil. The song is about the 21-year-old singer, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, dating someone who is closeted. The music video and shoe release has since sparked a culture war and backlash from religious conservatives, who disapprove of the song’s use of queer and satanist imagery. The song debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week.