Many Americans are expressing their disappointment and anger at athletic shoemaker Converse, which has launched a new line of sneakers in collaboration with fashion designer Rick Owens featuring a satanic pentagram which is the logo of his brand DRKSHDW.
“This is sad, I grew up wearing Converse but seeing that satanic marketing through your shoes, I won’t be buying into this. God help you!” says a comment on the shoemaker’s Instagram account, where it launched the sneakers featuring a pentagram in place of the iconic Chuck Taylor star last week.
Another follower thanked Converse for showing its “real side.” “No more purchase,” they added.
In the launch post on social media, Converse wrote, “The aesthetic is all about disrupting formality—embracing traditional structure and then blowing it up. Rick Owens crafts a Chuck 70 unlike any other. And it’s only the beginning for Converse x DRKSHDW.”
In another post by Converse, Owens wrote, “I’ve been using this pentagram for a long time because obviously, it has adolescent occult associations.”
He added that he likes “geometric diagrams like that because, in a very primal way, they are a culture’s grasp for control. And a way to organize thoughts and systems.”
Owens continued: “And a pentagram, in this day and age with all of its associations… I like the fact that it refers to an alternative system. And that suggests openness and empathy. It suggests the pursuit of pleasure, this pursuit of sensation. But one of the main things that I think it suggests is empathy and a consideration of systems of living that might not be standard. So that leads us to be more accepting and tolerant of other systems, which I think is a good thing.”
Earlier this year, MSCHF, a Brooklyn-based collective, modified Nike Air Max 97s into a “Satan Shoes” line and released it in collaboration with rapper Lil Nas X.
The controversial shoes incorporated drops of blood and ink into an air bubble. They were decorated with a pentagram pendant and a reference to Luke 10:18: “And he said to them, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.’”
The Satan Shoes release coincided with Lil Nas X’s single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name),” and its accompanying music video. In the video, Lil Nas X descended a stripper pole and gave Satan a lap dance.
The Satan Shoes line was a follow-up to the release of the collective’s Jesus Shoes, which reportedly contain holy water. The white shoes were marked with the phrase “MT. 14:25,” which references Matthew 14:25.
Both the release of the Satan Shoes and the music video were announced ahead of Palm Sunday weekend.