Adidas provided some blockbuster sneaker news today with the announcement it’s signed Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo to a long term partnership. Lorenzo will provide global oversight and direction of the German brand’s basketball division.
A statement from Adidas reads, “With this groundbreaking partnership, [Jerry] Lorenzo will drive the creative and business strategy for adidas basketball globally. The alliance challenges and exists beyond traditional collaboration and is the truest and most honest form of both personal and business relationship.”
As part of the partnership, Adidas will establish “the third pillar of the Fear of God house, Fear of God Athletics.” The new silo will include both lifestyle and performance basketball-themed offerings.”
Adidas hasn’t announced when to expect its debut collection with Fear of God.
The announcement marks the official end of Lorenzo’s celebrated partnership with Nike, which was rumored to be on shaky ground since early 2020 when Lorenzo stated in an interview, “I don’t have a deal for a Fear of God II. I’m living in question. I’m so humbled by everything Nike has done for me, but I have no peace of mind about it. I don’t know if they’re bringing me back, so I’m living in question.”
Not long after, Lorenzo announced a Nike collaborative shoe dubbed The Question, a tribute to NBA player Allen Iverson. Sneaker fans were taken aback by the reference to Iverson who is signed to Reebok, a brand owned by Adidas, Nike’s No. 1 competitor.
Perhaps reflecting he couldn’t come to an agreement with Nike, the 43-year-old Lorenzo released a campaign for The Question sneaker making use of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” for the soundtrack with the spot opening with the lyrics, “I did what I had to do, saw it through without exemption…” Nike never supported the campaign on any of its platforms.
Given Lorenzo’s level of control at Adidas that includes the establishment of a Fear of God Athletics brand, it’s likely Nike pushed back on his wish to have more control. While Lorenzo nor Nike have spoken about the end to their relationship, seven years ago Kanye West severed ties with the band because he was frustrated by the brand’s unwillingness to include him in planning.
With a comment on Instagram, Lorenzo first hinted at his plans to join the Nike team in October 2017. He followed up with his first collaborative shoe, a performance basketball silhouette, about a year later. His most recent collaborative capsule with Nike launched in November 2020.
Check out Lorenzo’s The Question ad campaign below.