It doesn’t seem to be much more than a twisted publicity stunt, but it’s hard to brush it off when news like this breaks over Holy Week:
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.”
Mr. Greenberg noted that Nike was not involved in the process “in any capacity.”
In a statement on Sunday, Nike said: “We do not have a relationship with Little Nas X or MSCHF. Nike did not design or release these shoes, and we do not endorse them.”
…The shoes are affixed with a bronze, pentagram-shaped charm and have “Luke 10:18” — a reference to the biblical passage that says, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” — printed on them.
Sarcastically responding to the uproar on social media about the shoes, Lil Nas X posted a video on YouTube on Sunday titled “Lil Nas X Apologizes for Satan Shoe” — but what appears to be an apology cuts to the sexually charged scene with Satan from the music video.
Among those criticizing the shoes was Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota. Ms. Noem, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that it was wrong for children to be told that the shoes were exclusive.
“What’s more exclusive? Their God-given eternal soul,” she wrote.
Lil Nas X was quick to respond: “ur a whole governor and u on here tweeting about some damn shoes. do ur job!” Ms. Noem replied with a quotation from the Bible: “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?”
Stephen J. Hoch, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania, said MSCHF was “smart” to make only 666. “They won’t be stuck with too much unsold inventory,” he said.
“It is totally a gimmick, and not a very good one at that,” he added. “And the price is ridiculous.”