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 that was rumored to be on shaky ground since early 2020. In an interview in which he was asked about the Nike partnership, Lorenzo responded, “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 Air Fear of God 1 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.
Foreshadowing the coming break, the 43-year-old Lorenzo released a campaign for The Question sneaker making use of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” for the soundtrack. In the spot, which Nike never supported on any of its platforms, Lorenzo’s hair is being braided in Iverson-esque cornrows as Sinatra sings, “I did what I had to do, saw it through without exemption…”
While Lorenzo and Nike haven’t spoken about why the relationship ended, Kanye West severed ties with Nike seven years ago because he was frustrated by the brand’s unwillingness to include him on decision making related to planning of his collaborations.
Creating a path Lorenzo would eventually follow, West broke ties with Nike and joined Adidas where he built out the Yeezy brand through a lucrative licensing agreement enabling him to win billionaire status.
Lorenzo first hinted at his plans to join the Nike team with a comment on Instagram in October 2017. He followed up with his first collaborative shoe, a performance basketball silhouette called the Nike Air Fear of God 1, about a year later. His final collaborative capsule with Nike launched in November 2020.
Check out Lorenzo’s The Question ad campaign below.