adidas x Fear of God, new YEEZY or damp squib?

Finally! The collab adidas x Fear of God finally took shape this April 19, with the show of the brand of Jerry Lorenzo at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Embellishing the main line, sneakers, accessories and apparel from the partnership surfaced. So was it worth the wait, and did we see the next generation of YEEZY at adidas, as some may argue? Well, no. But that's no surprise, really: the signals of disappointment were already in the air.

Two years of waiting, several false starts and a reduced partnership

Officialised with great fanfare in December 2020, the adidas x Fear of God collaboration looked to be a major one on paper. By taking away from Nike one of the champions of luxury streetwear, a sneaker signature appreciated for its creations flanked by the swoosh, the brand with the three stripes made a big move on the market and logically placed great cards in its hands: the press release mentioned the creation of a collaborative line called Fear of God Athletics, focused on performance and lifestyle b-ball products, as well as Lorenzo's takeover of the adidas Basketball division. With the goal of "change the face of the industry"in the words of the principal.

But things have dragged on, and we had to wait more than two years to see the collab materialize. We believed several times to its arrival, as when Lorenzo teased and then presented in an exhibition in January 2022 apparel pieces co-branded. And then, we ended up doubting, when a b-ball locker of adidas recalling the FoG paw was unveiled last December: the designer then spoke to deny his participation in the creation, throwing a cold on the association by announcing its revision. He assured that he had not finally taken the head of the basketball section of adidas, and that his alliance was now only on the development of the Athletics line ... Quite a setback.

Not everyone is YEEZY

As insiders point out, the reshuffle as well as the delay in the ignition are perhaps due to the turmoil experienced in recent months by the German equipment manufacturer, which has made major changes in its management while managing the thorny Kanye West case whose whose departure cost him a lot. But one would have thought that on the contrary, in view of the flight of its golden goose, adidas would seek to push as soon and as far as possible its partnership with Lorenzo. In the same way that he promised to establish his positioning on the high fashion niche two years ago in the wake of YEEZY and Y-3, the designer could possibly save the furniture with the end of the Ye label. In the absolute, it will not be the case. Because here we are, the first adidas x Fear of God Athletics products are not very exciting.

Sure, the whole thing is clean, as always with Jerry Lorenzo. But it all leaves us with a taste of déjà vu, whether it's his sleek lifestyle sneakers or his performance line, more creative but whose marked resemblance to the Air FoG is widely emphasized. "Two years for this"This is the predominant feeling about the collection. A flat lassitude that contrasts with the epidermal reactions for the YEEZY Season 1 and YEEZY 750, which were also revealed two years after the announcement of the line and whose success reminds us that the wait is not at all prohibitive. And we say that no, the adidas x Fear of God collab will not replace, at least as it stands, the label of Kanye West. The designs do not seem to us strong enough or unifying enough to stand comparison, waiting to know a pricing that should also cool down ardors. If we stick to what we saw on the catwalks Angelinos, FoG will be a new blow in the water for adidas in its delicate enterprise to turn the page YEEZY. And the brand with three stripes to have to trade the initial ambition of "change the face of the industry" for a "to sell the products"... Again, déjà vu.

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Alexandre Pauwels

Journaliste sneakers, mode, lifestyle. Auteur du livre "Sneakers Obsession".