Creative Shuffle: All The Latest Industry Moves
There’s been a big shuffle in the sneaker industry of late.
Jerry Lorenzo defected with Nike to start his new role at adidas. Aimé Leon Dore’s ultra cool Teddy Santis has taken the reins at New Balance, while Reebok have enlisted the help of Kerby Jean-Raymond. Perhaps most impressively, L.A.’s very own Melody Ehsani inked a deal to become the first creative director of Foot Locker’s women’s business!
Has all this movement got your laces in a knot? Never fear... let’s break it down.
One of the more high-profile defections in recent memory, Jerry Lorenzo’s move to the adidas basketball division shocked the sneaker world when it was announced last year. Already touting an impressive sneaker catalogue with Nike (a body of work including the hugely popular Nike Air Fear of God 1), Lorenzo’s adi deal in many ways echoes the move by Kanye West in 2013, who famously parted ways with Nike (albeit in much more tumultuous fashion) to sign with adidas after a flurry of ultra-hyped Nike Air Yeezy releases.
Often citing lofty ambitions for his label (in a recent GQ profile, Lorenzo declared that he’s chasing a Ralph Lauren-esque legacy), Lorenzo will have his work cut out for him. But you can expect his collaborative nous to lift the division, the 43-year-old designer known for tapping a cultural paradigm not strictly bound to the hardwood.
‘This is a role that is unprecedented in its very nature and nuanced attribution that it defies all titles and traditional definitions,’ said Lorenzo. ‘This is a fearless move where shared vision and conviction are at the heart of the accretion of two brands shaping sports and culture, with the purpose to truly multiply our nuanced strengths to revolutionize the performance basketball industry forever.’
Jerry Lorenzo will be heading adi’s basketball division as well as the formation of Fear of God Athletics.
New Balance recently announced Teddy Santis as the creative director of their esteemed Made in USA division.
A proud New York resident, Teddy’s Aimé Leon Dore (ALD) imprint has quickly become one of the most respected brands in menswear.
Dripping in 1990s Queens nostalgia, ALD incorporates sparse shapes and a luxurious design language that is undeniably built for comfort. Of course no stranger to New Balance collaborations, ALD has already reinvented numerous NB silhouettes, including the 550 (a long-forgotten 1980s NB basketball shoe), the NB 827 and NB 1300.
‘I’m beyond proud, honored and humbled to announce my Creative Director role at New Balance MADE in the USA starting 2022’ Teddy shared on Instagram. ‘To my family, my ALD team and to everyone who has supported me along the way, this is all a reflection of you and how you’ve inspired me. Thank you to the NB team for trusting me with what I believe is the soul of the brand. I look forward to sharing more behind this campaign and what it represents for our partnership.’
Recently named as the new Creative Director of Foot Locker’s women’s business, Melody Ehsani continues to go from strength to strength in the sneaker space. The prodigious L.A. native has been tasked with creating capsules for Foot Locker and curating a selection of Nike and Jordan Brand products – Ehsani’s contract with Nike forbids her from working with other brands.
After founding her eponymous label in 2007, Ehsani quickly became a stalwart of sneaker culture.
‘Growing up, Foot Locker stores were a staple of my cultural landscape,’ Ehsani said. ‘I am truly honored to become the first Creative Director for Foot Locker’s women’s business and for the opportunity to help shape and build upon the impact of their brand on a global scale. I look forward to bringing my set of experiences to the table – not just as a designer, but as a longtime customer.’
The democratisation of product will form a large part of Ehsani’s ethos, the 41-year-old designer set to launch her first women-centric capsule in 2021.
Ehsani has previously collaborated on contemporary classics like the Air Jordan OG SP and Air Jordan 1 Mid Fearless.
Driven by social justice, few designers share the inspiring tenor of Kerby Jean-Raymond and his NYC-based label, Pyer Moss. Scheduled to take the reins for Reebok in 2022, Pyer Moss has worked extensively with Reebok over the years.
‘I am thrilled to be evolving my role at Reebok and joining the leadership team as the head of Creative Direction,’ said Jean-Raymond. ‘I welcome this opportunity to help invigorate the brand with new ideas, while also focusing on instilling a sense of social purpose into our work.’
Originally working on the Reebok DMX Fusion, Jean-Raymond will assume his position as Global Creative Director in 2022.
Bulgarian designer Kiko Kostadinov and his team are working closely with ASICS to oversee and curate nearly a dozen new silhouettes for the Japanese label.
Forming a relationship with ASICS back in 2018 with the release of the GEL-Burz 1, Kostadinov’s collaborations have become some of the most sought-after sneakers in the industry. Allowing ASICS to make more aggressive moves in the fashion and runway space, Kostadinov recently spoke on the nature of his relationship with ASICS.
‘From day one, ASICS showed an openness and willingness towards the new ideas and new directions that the Kiko Kostadinov design team presented to them. Their trust in our vision is what has made this partnership such a success. We are deeply honored to be building further on this partnership with this new developmental initiative. It will allow us to integrate deeper within the ASICS brand, beyond relying on yesterday’s models of collaboration – affording us the space to approach our work through a more considered filter, with an eye towards tomorrow.’
Keen to read more about industry moves? Why not check out our in-depth feature on the biggest sneaker defections of all-time!