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GQ Men of the Year Party 2023 - Arrivals

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Fans of Jerry Lorenzo’s Fear of God attire have been patiently waiting on his collaboration with adidas to drop and though we still have a minute to go before that coveted release date, the man has opened up about his latest collaborative collection.

In an interview with GQ, Lorenzo spoke about the sneakers he has in store for his faithful followers and while fans are getting antsy about waiting so long to get ten toes down in his latest footwear, the designer admitted that “We needed a little bit more time for this to be exactly what I had dreamt for it to become,” he says, “which is just a hundred-percent pure performance.”

Most sneaker enthusiasts remember a time when Jerry Lorenzo was doing his thing over at Nike in 2018 and seemed destined to be a part of the swoosh brand for years to come. Things were going so well that Nike and Lorenzo were in talks to launch Athletics and continue their relationship only to get an upcoming meeting canceled just before he was set to travel to Portland to has out the details of the proposed sneaker line.

GQ reports:

He was taken aback. “I thought I was paving the way and putting numbers on the board in order for [Athletics] to happen,” he says. He felt he had become stuck in corporate limbo, and he was preoccupied by questions about how Nike perceived him and his work and the collaboration (which Lorenzo characterizes as “obviously successful”). He called the final shoe he designed for Nike “The Question.”

In mid-2020, Nike dropped him. Lorenzo says he still doesn’t know why. “I [was] just in this really bad place,” he recalls. “All the shoes sold out. I thought I performed well.”

Undeterred, Lorenzo called New Balance and Reebok. He had conversations with “some sneaker brands overseas” and had offers on the table. Finally, he reached out to Adidas through contacts at Yeezy, where he’d consulted on early product designs. “They got in contact with me shortly after,” he says, and a deal came together that would launch Athletics and put Lorenzo atop Adidas Basketball.

The Adidas x Jerry Lorenzo partnership was announced in 2020 and since then he’s been working on the collection and though some of the pieces have leaked on social media over the years, nothing has been released to the general public for consumption. Hypebeasts are getting antsy out on these streets.

Though Adidas announced that Lorenzo was no longer down with their basketball division due to “creative differences” on kicks that he isn’t 100% behind putting out. Still, Lorenzo and the three-stripped brand are chugging along and from the sound of things, what they’re about to put out will be more than just a fashion statement, it’ll be for sports forreal.

“Simply, I don’t see any kids walking around with basketball shoes unless they’re playing in ’em. I don’t see any kids walking around with turf baseball shoes unless they’re working out.”

He wants to change that. “Most basketball shoes right now, they’re just too bulky,” he says. “You put ’em on with a pair of jeans and you look crazy.” Lorenzo grew up drooling over Air Jordans and Agassi pro models, the sneakers he and his friends hooped in then wore to school the next day. “There was a time when these shoes transcended sport, and I still think it’s possible, even though innovation has taken these shapes and silhouettes far from that place,” he says. “I think there’s a way through design to bring those two languages back together.”

He ain’t lying, you really can’t ball in a pair of Air Jordan 1’s, 3’s or 4’s these days. They hurt like a MF.

But luckily we’ll be getting to see what Jerry Lorenzo and Adidas have been cooking up in the lab after all these years sooner than later and if anything we’ll know just how a little patience and perseverance can pay off.

“I can happily say we’re on the right path for it to be exactly what we dreamed for it to be. By the second half of 2024, you’ll see full performance shoes that are light, playable and transcend the court. Nothing will be compromised.”

Still, even by his sky-high standards, he’s pretty happy with the sneakers that he can finally show the world. He picks up the tan pair again. “You can play in these, but would I say it’s the best basketball shoe in the market? Probably not. But is it one of the best looking sneakers?” He pauses, smiles, admires his handiwork. “Maybe.”

We can’t wait to see.