Fear Of God Jerry Lorenzo is already responsible for attracting most of the best basketball players in the world. Whether it’s the draped and dusty designs from Fear of Gods main line or the tracksuits from the Essentials collection, the world’s leading hoopers flock to Lorenzo’s designs. Fear of God is so prevalent in basketball culture that the NBA2K franchise brings the brand’s shoes into play. Now Lorenzo will move from attracting basketball players off the field to designing what they wear on the hardwood. On Tuesday, Lorenzo and Adidas announced a partnership in which the designer will lead the Three Stripes basketball division and the founding of Fear of God Athletics.
The news from Adidas headquarters is vague and brief, but the impact is significant. For starters, this means that Lorenzo’s longstanding partnership with Nike is broken. In many ways, the announcement reflects longtime Lorenzo friend Kanye West’s jump from Beaverton, Oregon to Herzogenaurach, Germany, where Adidas is headquartered. Both Kanye and Lorenzo made blazing hot sneakers with Nike and took on a much broader role with the Three Stripes. Kanye, of course, produces sneakers and apparel for Yeezy with Adidas, and it seems Lorenzo has a similar roadmap in mind. “The partnership will also cement the establishment and formation of the third pillar of the Fear of God House, Fear of God Athletics,” a press release said. “The new pillar will focus on performance basketball and active lifestyle products that complement the triune nature of Fear of God and complement the brand’s other two pillars, Essentials and Fear of Gods Luxury.”
More on this “triune nature”: After the announcement, Lorenzo shared in an Instagram headline that these three pillars have long been the plan for fear of God. “It is through the blueprint of the Trinity that we find the basis for all design and creation,” he wrote. (Who knew the evolution of a hugely successful fashion brand reflected the quest in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? It’s all about the Triforce, baby.) Of course, the parallels to Adidas and its logo are obvious. Lorenzo even had three stripes tattooed on his neck. Did we mention that Fear of God is a Los Angeles based brand?
Aside from the fact that this partnership was born in the stars, it will also go a long way in making Lorenzo’s vision for fear of God come true. Lorenzo wasn’t shy about his ambitions: in a recent GQ profile, he admitted he’s chasing after a Ralph Lauren-like legacy. Lauren famously built his label by outfitting the American dream – by designing the sweaters, suits, and fine china that are essential to living out that fantasy. And while Lauren grew up at a time when he could build his empire out of ties, the table will be set very differently in 2020. Today, American pursuit is largely determined by LeBron James and Michael Jordans of the world. Sneakers have replaced leather bogues, and tracksuits have come for the suits. It is no exaggeration to say that running the basketball division of the world’s second largest sportswear company, which had sales of € 23.64 billion last year, is a clear path to help shape an American idea for success in 2020.
And Lorenzo is the ideal candidate to head a modern basketball department. Despite the growing cultural impact of the sport, sales of real basketball sneakers have steadily declined in recent years. While Lorenzo isn’t from the world of tech basketball sneakers, Lorenzo is familiar with making fashion items that encircle pick-up games, NBA tunnel arenas, and the all-star weekend. This is more of a cultural game than pure active dress. “The global impact that Jerry Lorenzo and Fear of God had on culture and the industry is undeniable,” said Brian Grevy, Adidas board member responsible for Global Brands. “We are excited about Jerry’s authentic connection to sport, his deep understanding of the footwear industry and the past, and his ability to reinterpret heritage and visualize the future. We look forward to working with him to inspire the next generation of basketball creatives, athletes and communities. “
2020 not only cemented the fear of God as a fashion powerhouse, but also demonstrated Lorenzo’s chameleonic skills. He was best known this year for jogging pants with weird elongated cords. Working with Zegna and then in the latest collection of his own line worn by Frances McDormand on the cover of Vogue, he quickly proved to be a thoughtful and skilled tailor. Now Lorenzo has the chance to show another untapped talent in Adidas. At this point it would be a mistake to doubt that it will be a success.