Lil Nas X’s “Satan Shoes” reportedly sold out in less than a minute.
After all the controversy around and condemnation of Lil Nas X’s new sneakers, it still sold out in under a minute. The rapper teamed up with New York-based art collective MSCHF to create an exclusive pair of sneakers that incited havoc and unrest among political, religious, and even social figures for its anti-Christian features. While the modified kicks were created with Nike Air Max 97s, the popular brand was quick to not only clarify that they had nothing to do with the making of the “Satan Shoes” but also explicitly state that they do not endorse it.
Exactly 666 pairs of the shoes were made adorned with a bronze pentagram and inverted cross, and the sole bubble filled with red ink, and most controversially, a drop of human blood. The modified sneakers were $1,018 each which is reportedly a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse that reads: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Released in tandem with Lil Nas X‘s recent music video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” which has a similar theme that sees the rapper falling straight to hell after almost touching an angel reaching down from heaven, the sneakers sparked outrage from various personalities online with many calling out the design for being demonic and evil. However, there was clearly still a niche for the “Satan Shoes” which sold out in seconds.
According to CNN, each shoe was made with 2.03 fluid ounces of red ink and “one drop” of human blood. A MSCHF spokesperson explained that the blood came from the makers themselves, who are known to dabble in similar unorthodox works of art. “We love to sacrifice for our art,” the rep said. The MSCHF creative team reportedly collected drops of blood from its own members over a week with a lancet, the same small, sharp needle that is used to take at-home-glucose tests.
MSCHF, which has come under fire along with Lil Nas X for their “Satan Shoes,” previously released a pair of “Jesus Shoes” as well. Using the same Air Max 97s, the art collective designed the sneakers with a steel crucifix and “holy water” from the Jordan River. Recently in February, they used the material from Birkin bags to make a collection of sandals that reportedly sold for $34,000 to $76,000 each.
In their statement, the spokesperson for the art collective addressed the criticism over their collab with Lil Nas X. “We all knew that some people would take the satan element of this seriously…but I’m not sure we were entirely prepared for how much of a furor it would cause,” said Wiesner. “Obviously from our perspective, it’s just fun, right? There’s a really rich wealth of symbol(ism) to work with, but some people have been very up in arms with it.”
Meanwhile, fresh off the heels of his first sneaker collaboration selling out, Lil Nas X admitted on Twitter that all the recent backlash is taking an emotional toll on him while encouraging fans to keep streaming his new song. “I’ll be honest all this backlash is putting an emotional toll on me. I try to cover it with humor but it’s getting hard. My anxiety is higher than ever and stream call me by your name on all platforms now!”
Nike is also suing MSCHF for infringing on their trademark by selling the high price customized sneakers. There’s no word yet on if the sportswear giant is also suing Lil Nas X as this saga unfolds.