It’s been a dramatic few weeks for Nike and MSCHF (an arts collective/troll-y merchandise company), with the latter designing and selling 666 pairs of “Satan Shoes” as a tie-in with Lil Nas X’s “Montero” video and then getting sued by the former because the shoes were actually heavily customized Nike Air Max 97s. Nike was upset that there seemed to be a lot of confusion from pearl-clutchers and monocle-droppers over the shoes, with the desperate-to-be-offended quickly and vocally expressing their disgust that Nike would allow itself to be associated with the devil and a gay man who made a music video in which he gave the devil a lap dance. Nike was not actually involved with the shoes at all, so it filed a lawsuit demanding that it be compensated some untold amount of damages and that the shoes be destroyed. Lil Nas X wasn’t actually involved in the suit at all, which was a smart PR move on Nike’s part given how good his meme work is on social media, but Nike still seemed awfully upset about the whole stunt.
Now, in what is actually a pretty unsurprising conclusion to the whole affair, Nike and MSCHF have settled. This comes from The Verge, which says that—while the exact terms of the deal weren’t disclosed—MSCHF is allowing any customers who bought the shoes (which sold out immediately when they did go on sale) for a full refund of $1,018. We don’t know what will happen to any shoes that are returned, but MSCHF says it will keep the final unsold pair, presumably as a sobering reminder of when it got in trouble and not as some kind of trophy from the time it stared down Nike.
Nah, just kidding. That final pair is absolutely a trophy, and MSHF’s attorney’s implied as much in a statement given to The Verge. Remember when we referred to it as a “troll-y merchandise company”? And what does a troll want more than money and the ability to sell very expensive shoes made of evil? That’s right: attention! In the statement, the attorneys said they’re “pleased” with the decision to settle, adding that “MSCHF intended to comment on the absurdity of the collaboration culture practiced by some brands, and about the perniciousness of intolerance.” They say this comment was “dramatically amplified” by Nike’s lawsuit, and now that MSCHF has “achieved its artistic purpose” with these shoes, it figured that settling the lawsuit and moving on was the best move.
Everybody wins, except MSCHF probably wins more because it got a bunch of publicity out of this and got to freak out some normals. It could theoretically be out nearly $700,000 if everyone who bought these shoes decides to return them, but that’s not going to happen when the shoes are now going for thousands of dollars on eBay.