MSCHF, the trolling Brooklyn-based creative agency, is back with more ludicrous products. After creating blood-filled Nike Air Max 97 “Satan Shoes” in partnership with Lil Nas X — a project that quickly led to controversy and a subsequent lawsuit from Nike — the Brooklyn-based art collective is launching an entire sneaker line. Called MSCHF Sneakers, the collection doesn’t include modifications of existing shoes and should accordingly be free from legal liability.
Still, the first drop from the sneaker line is a “winking riff” on one of Nike’s most famous silhouettes, a press release reveals. Dubbed “TAP3” (as in “tape”) the forthcoming sneaker nods to the infamous all-black Air Force 1, covering all branded elements with yellow TPU tape. The shoe, after all, isn’t a Nike shoe — it’s a MSCHF one.
Air Farce 1 — The collective claims it has constructed the TAP3 sneaker from the ground up, designing its own sole to insole to upper. Of course, MSCHF also admits that the approximate shape of the Air Force 1 makes it a “platonic ideal of a low top sneaker,” pointing to a number of sneaker brands taking inspiration — or simply ripping off — the Nike model too.
“The first thing every brand that’s trying to pivot into sneakers does is make a pseudo-AF1,” MSCHF states in a press release. Celebrated brands like BAPE have reimagined the Nike sneaker since 2002, while others have (unsuccessfully) attempted to sell their own bootleg versions. Designer John Geiger is currently defending his GF-01 sneaker in court, with Nike claiming the shoe rips off the Air Force 1 despite its lack of branding and change of material.
These acts of reconstruction, or customizing, are exactly what Nike is looking to shut down — and exactly what MSCHF is known for, making the Air Force 1 an attractive target for the collective to play with. “It is a bit cathartic for us to launch this particular shoe almost exactly a year after the release of Satan Shoes,” MSCHF adds in its statement.
More to come — To bring its sneaker line full-circle, the collective has launched the MSCHF Sneakers app, a sneaker-dropping platform not unlike Nike’s own SNKRS. The app will host launches on a monthly basis, with the first being the TAP3 shoe, releasing March 21 at 11 a.m. ET. A draw for the sneaker will also be available on the MSCHF website.
MSCHF has already teased additional sneaker drops (and dupes), including a partnership with an unknown rapper, its own version of a classic model, and a pair of mystery boots. Pricing for the exclusive kicks will range from $220 to $295, granted you’re lucky enough to grab a pair. Just like Nike’s own Air Force 1, demand for MSCHF’s sneakers will be insatiable.