Form Meets Function in Fear of God's Inaugural Athletics Line

Hypebeast spoke with Jerry Lorenzo on switching from Nike to adidas, along with the challenges of merging aesthetics and sophistication with performance.

Fashion 
10,049 Hypes 8 Comments

Three years is not that long of a time. But in the world of fashion, where collections move at such an accelerated pace, it feels like eons ago. When Jerry Lorenzo suddenly announced at the end of 2020 that he’d form a partnership with adidas to become the head of the German company’s growing Basketball division, the move signaled a major change within sportswear, having been a key collaborator with Nike in the years prior to the pandemic. Barring a few little teasers, and even a photoshop rendered Three Stripes tattoo on the back of his neck, details on what the collection would entail has been notably sparse since the announcement.

Lorenzo’s time with the Swoosh was well celebrated, from the early “Shoot Around” and revamped Air Skylon he designed to the highly touted Fear of God 1‘s that captured the minimally luxurious feel of his Fear of God and ESSENTIALS labels. But towards the end of their partnership, the two sides didn’t quite align on future ambitions. Lorenzo, the son of former MLB second baseman and manger Jerry Manuel, had always had his eyes set on the field of play, rather than just one-off collaborations. Like many Americans, Lorenzo favored Nike over adidas (which, historically has had a stronger toehold in Europe) growing up. “As I’m older now,” he tells Hypebeast, “and I have a better understanding of the brand and a better understanding of what I know, I believe [adidas'] current point of view is closer to mine than Nike’s.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by JERRY LORENZO (@jerrylorenzo)

There’s the underdog nature that he also uses as a motivating factor. “I love that in America, [adidas] is considered a second place brand, right? And that’s just because it’s German and Nike is here and understands our culture better. I’ve always felt like an underdog. I’ve always felt more of that type of player when it comes to sports. So there were so many different things that, as I’m older now, is more aligned with Fear of God than any other performance brand.” Nearly three years on, Lorenzo feels more “reassured” than a sene of excitement as he debuts Athletics. “After the [Hollywood] Bowl,” he tells us and a group of reporters, “I wanted to be so excited after the show, but I wasn’t. I just felt an alignment, more of a humbling feeling than a celebratory one. Things are, in a crazy way, going the way we envisioned it.”

Visions are constantly coming and going for Lorenzo, such as the existential setting he had designed for the opening reception in DTLA. Dubbed the “Athletics Atmosphere”, the dimly lit space was barren empty, barring a few granite rock fixtures that doubled as stools, several futuristic clothing displays and a center space with end-to-end monitors and three jagged rocks shaped to resemble Three Stripes. The space was made to immediately imbue a feeling of “pre-existence” and “spirit of perpetuity” — rather than another “hot shoe dropping.”

Photographed by artist Nadav Kander, the campaign carried biblical undertones, with images made to resemble Jesus Christ and an accompanying film, where a series of models are shown walking on water towards three jagged mountains in the shape of The Three Stripes. “The house is built to mirror the very nature and design of the highest being,” Lorenzo said in press release, “where there is both unity and diversity in the trinity.” While he doesn’t force his faith on others, Lorenzo has never been shy to pay homage to his faith through his sartorial offerings. Athletics, for him, completes the brand architecture he set out to build with Fear of God and ESSENTIALS, where there is a subtle nod to the Christian Trinity of The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. “I wanted our brand to be complete in and of itself,” Lorenzo tells us.

So how did Athletics measure up? Aside from what is to be expected — minimal branding, muted color palettes and generally oversized silhouettes — the inaugural collection wasn’t necessarily revolutionary, but did not disappoint either. The line included classic sportswear staples, such as zip-up jackets, drill tops and sweatpants with tonal three stripes arching over the shoulders and leg seams. Standout pieces include a sleeveless poncho with Three Stripes at the chest, which was inspired by the gym towels that Mike Tyson would wear on his way to wreak havoc, along with a creamy Athletics 86 Lo sneaker made with an all suede upper. While the collection is undoubtedly catered for a lifestyle audience, the fabrics and the intention behind it is equally performance-driven.

“How can you meet aesthetics and sophistication with performance?” asks Lorenzo. “I think that’s the intention of the brand: was for people to perform and the be the best versions of themselves. And for the individual to walk into the room to enhance who they are.” By diving into familiar reference points, namely the aesthetic sensibilities of the ’90s and early ’00s, Lorenzo forged a bridge between past and present. He pointed out that select T-shirts from the collection drew from ‘90s soccer silhouettes, an inspiration born of his belief that soccer legend David Beckham was adidas’ answer — sartorially and sportingly — to Michael Jordan.”

Following in his dad’s footsteps, Lorenzo also looks to use Athletics as a platform to help underprivileged communities. Like his father, whose foundation has helped teach the game of baseball to inner-city youth over the past 10 years, “my heart’s intention,” says Lorenzo, is “to take the best product and give it to the kids that are overlooked, not to the biggest basketball star. How am I giving that dream to someone that maybe can’t access? To me, that’s even more fulfilling. Continuing the work my dad has started is what I want to do with Athletics.”

For those in Los Angeles, “The Athletics Atmosphere” is on view until December 3 from 11am to 6pm PT. Athletics will officially launches on December 3 online at Fear of God and adidas’ CONFIRMED, as well select adidas DTC stores on December 6.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Fear of God Athletics Is Here
Fashion

Fear of God Athletics Is Here

The trinity is complete.

The Fear of God Athletics 1 Will Drop in An Angelic All-White Colorway on Christmas Day
Footwear

The Fear of God Athletics 1 Will Drop in An Angelic All-White Colorway on Christmas Day

Fear of God Athletics fans are sure to rejoice at the news.

Jerry Lorenzo Offers Release Update for adidas x Fear of God Athletics
Fashion

Jerry Lorenzo Offers Release Update for adidas x Fear of God Athletics

The collaborative range is coming soon.


Fear of God's First-Ever Runway Collection Has Dropped
Fashion

Fear of God's First-Ever Runway Collection Has Dropped

Collection 8, which first met the world last spring at the brand’s Hollywood Bowl spectacle, can now be yours.

Researchers Conduct Study on the Carbon Footprint of AI Text and Image Generation
Tech & Gadgets

Researchers Conduct Study on the Carbon Footprint of AI Text and Image Generation

Generating an image is about equivalent to charging a smartphone.

Converse Celebrates 'Wonka' With Expansive Collab
Footwear

Converse Celebrates 'Wonka' With Expansive Collab

Featuring two Chuck 70s, two Chuck Taylor All Stars, an All Star BB Trilliant CX and complementary apparel.

COMME des GARÇONS and FREITAG Launch Holiday Collection
Fashion

COMME des GARÇONS and FREITAG Launch Holiday Collection

A festive and functional offering dubbed “Holidays with FREITAG.”

KAWS Joins Sky High Farm and Nike to Celebrate 10 Years of DSMNY
Footwear

KAWS Joins Sky High Farm and Nike to Celebrate 10 Years of DSMNY

The charity-oriented release features two Air Force 1 Lows and complementary apparel options.

Pharrell Takes Louis Vuitton to Hong Kong and Matthew M Williams Exits Givenchy in This Week’s Top Fashion News
Fashion

Pharrell Takes Louis Vuitton to Hong Kong and Matthew M Williams Exits Givenchy in This Week’s Top Fashion News

Stay up to date on the latest industry headlines.


Brent Faiyaz Fronts Billionaire Boys Club's Otherworldly 20th Anniversary Campaign
Fashion

Brent Faiyaz Fronts Billionaire Boys Club's Otherworldly 20th Anniversary Campaign

Flexing the space-inspired capsule alongside his label signee Tommy Richman.

Jade Kim Explores "A Dream Memory" in VLAB Gallery Exhibition
Art

Jade Kim Explores "A Dream Memory" in VLAB Gallery Exhibition

Centered on his wife’s childhood experiences.

Watch Netflix's Trailer for the Final Episodes of 'The Crown'
Entertainment

Watch Netflix's Trailer for the Final Episodes of 'The Crown'

Premiering on December 14.

PLEASURES and MLB Run It Back
Fashion

PLEASURES and MLB Run It Back

Teaming up with Fanatics to present a second official Major League Baseball delivery.

The Weeknd x Blue Bottle Launch 2 New Ethiopian Single Origin Coffees
Food & Beverage

The Weeknd x Blue Bottle Launch 2 New Ethiopian Single Origin Coffees

Offering natural and washed processed blends.

More ▾
 
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.
We got you covered. Don’t miss out on the latest news by signing up for our newsletters.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Looks like you’re using an ad-blocker

We charge advertisers instead of our readers. Support us by whitelisting our site.

Whitelist Us

How to Whitelist Us

screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Under “Pause on this site” click “Always”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlock Plus icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Block ads on – This website” switch off the toggle to turn it from blue to gray.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the AdBlocker Ultimate icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Switch off the toggle to turn it from “Enabled on this site” to “Disabled on this site”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the Ghostery icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the “Ad-Blocking” button at the bottom. It will turn gray and the text above will go from “ON” to “OFF”.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the UBlock Origin icon in the browser extension area in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on the large blue power icon at the top.
  3. When it turns gray, click the refresh icon that has appeared next to it or click the button below to continue.
screenshot
  1. Click the icon of the ad-blocker extension installed on your browser.You’ll usually find this icon in the upper right-hand corner of your screen. You may have more than one ad-blocker installed.
  2. Follow the instructions for disabling the ad blocker on the site you’re viewing.You may have to select a menu option or click a button.
  3. Refresh the page or click the button below to continue.