Jerry Lorenzo on the Nike Air Fear of God Collection
Jerry Lorenzo’s Nike Air Fear of God was one of the most unique silhouettes to step onto the NBA’s hardwood this year, drip-lord and Houston Rockets guard PJ Tucker debuting the high-top 'sneakerboot' construction against the Brooklyn Nets back in November. With a heel halfway to heaven, and angles torn straight from expressionism, the Nike Air Fear of God 1 challenged the very core beliefs of sneaker design in 2018.
According to Jerry, the collection is 'super muted' and 'all about shape and proportion', which emphasises the need for meticulous detail and the understanding of the wearer.
With the collection set to drop today, we’re sharing a little taste of our interview with Fear of God founder and City of Angels dweller Jerry Lorenzo, as we try to locate what kind of spiritual force drove him to the Air Fear of God 1.
The full interview with Jerry, and two Nike designers who worked on this collection, is set for release in the Issue 41 of Sneaker Freaker Magazine.
ON HIS DESIGN PROCESS
'I approach every item as if it's a solution. In the back of my mind, I'm hoping that what I make; whether it's a hoodie, whether it's a pair of jeans, or a leather jacket, that it's the best version and a solution for your closet. Yeah, I guess in the end, that is kind of the hope... You may not know how or why you're staying above water, your instinct is just to kind of keep your arms and legs moving. I think, over time, your stroke gets better and your form gets better. I think, for me, five years into it, I'm just getting better.'
ON WORKING IN FASHION
'I've never been the best at anything, but you put me on the basketball court, the baseball diamond, the football field, or track and field, and I can compete. I was never the best, but I could always get to a level where I could compete. I take that through the workforce and whatever it is I'm involved in. Now that I'm in fashion, I want to get better, and I want to be the best. I want to beat you, and I want to knock you out.'
ON THE SHOE
'There have been many times when I've loved a Nike shoe and I've loved the design line, but I didn’t connect with the shape, or the shoe is beautiful and it performs but I can't really wear it off the court. What do I bring to the table that can help solve this? For me, the answer was in the shape and the proportion of the shoe. I think the shape is a new thing, as is the sleekness of the shoe, and how it compares, and how it sits with everything else that you're wearing. I thought that's how I could get that emotion back, by focusing on the shape and not trying to blind anyone through colour and pattern. To get to your heart through the shape.'
ON WORKING WITH NIKE
'I think I had 100% influence. I think the Nike design team had 100% influence. There wasn't one decision that was made without either one. There wasn't one decision that was made without either one. There is education coming from both sides.'
ON PJ TUCKER
'I think we just have an organic relationship. Organic in the sense that he hit me and reminded me about the shoes the day that I got them. I [said] "I got them, finally, dude. Where do I send them?" He's just like, "Send them to my hotel. I want to wear them in New York." There wasn't a big plan around it. At the time, it kind of speaks to who we are as a brand. We don't really have a big marketing strategy. Our plan is to simply make the best product and the people that'll like it will find it.'
ON AIR JORDANS AND THE 'SNEAKER' INFLUENCE
'I figured out quickly that my fashion didn't have to say much as long as I had on a pair of Jordans ... I could wear some sweats and a long t-shirt, as long as I had on the Jordan VIs. A lot of my fashion has been built from my footwear. Having the necessary footwear or the proper footwear kind of alleviates some pressures of what else to put on. It was important to have an opportunity to start where I had so much emotion, and such a strong connection to why and how I used to dress the way that I did.'
ON HIS FAVOURITE SNEAKER
'The Nike Air Raid'