Are you in the mood for some MSCHF? You might know the artistic collective from the launch of their ‘Jesus Shoe’ – a 2019 Nike Air Max 97 which featured a sole filled with Holy Water from the River Jordan (a holy plan with seemingly no holes). Or – maybe it was ‘The Persistence of Chaos’ that turned your head, an event that single-handedly resulted in $95 billion in financial damages? Whatever the moment – MSCHF has our attention and they are not letting go any time soon…
Dry those tears – there is still plenty of mischief to be had now that Halloween is over, and it is all thanks to the original trick-or-treater. With what has been described as ‘one of the best exhibitions of 2022’ – the MSCHF collective brings the world ‘No More Tears, I’m Lovin’ It’, an interactive and satirical exhibition with cultural commentary at its core. Open now until December 23rd – attendees will have the opportunity to shake the disembodied hand of rapper 24kGoldn, witness the patriotic willingness of ‘spot the weaponised robot dog’ and spectate the outcome of the 2021 Guns2Swords program, also implemented by MSCHF. With this and so much more, the exhibition parodies aspects of society with searing clarity. The opportunity can be yours, that is if you find yourself at New York’s Perrotin space, and I’ll tell you this for free – we are Lovin’ it.
So, who brought MSCHF into being? You may know him from paying $1 to receive bad advice on Twitter, or from his work for BuzzFeed. Whatever the case – Gabriel Whaley has been having a whale of a time orchestrating structured chaos ever since MSCHF’s founding in 2016. The collective has been whisking us away every two weeks for the last 6 years, with a countdown that keeps us waiting for their next ‘drop’ of mischievous goodness. Many moments unfolded as viral pranks, such as ‘Bull & Moon’ – an app which endorses stocks to buy based on your star sign (a recommendation taken seriously by some users).
While their business plan or structure may not convince many experts as tenable – it is almost certain that MSCHF is here for the long haul. Daniel Greenberg, head of the brand’s commerce, has said: “If we can make people a fan of the brand and not the product, we can do whatever the f*ck we want”.
Controversy is in MSCHF’s collective DNA. Cue eyes turning and elbows nudging at the brand’s ‘Satan Shoes’ – a sneaker designed in collaboration with Lil Nas X. As a follow-up to the ‘Jesus Shoe’, MSCHF released 666 pairs of altered Nike Air Max 97s. Each contained a drop of blood within the ink that filled the air-bubbled part of the sneaker, and the drop quickly went viral. The cherry on top of this cake? The blood was sourced from six of MSCHF’s employees. Unfortunately, Nike was not having any of it – later suing the collective and stating: “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.” Ouch.
MSCHF’s shoe show does not end there – last June the group partnered with talk-show host, Jimmy Fallon, to create the ‘Gobstomper’ sneaker. Fallon, who has been described as a “long-time MSCHF friend” was the face of the campaign – seen on the brand’s Instagram skateboarding, and majorly scuffed up. As the shoe is worn down, bright colours are revealed from underneath the plainer exterior, just as a Gobstopper would – although sadly not edible.
If shoe-based devilry doesn’t quite fulfil your ‘sole’ – MSCHF is sure you can sink your teeth into their ‘Anti-Advertising Advertising Club’. A community formed in October of 2020, MSCHF was responsible for paying TikTokers to hate on popular brands. The going rate for videos attacking Amazon for human rights violations and union busting was $100 (as long as it got over 50,000 views.) Meanwhile, a video calling out Palantir for ‘big data for evil’ that got over 10 million views – $20,000.
To get yourself a piece of the mischief, download the MSCHF app – which offers the chance to unlock secrets kept from the group’s website and witness the live countdowns until their next drop. As of writing, the app helpfully informs users that there are only nine days until the next drop. We can only wonder what mischief MSCHF has in store for us next.
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