Finally, Fear of God and adidas' collaborative Fear of God Athletics line is here. Nearly three years after the partnership was first announced, way back at the tail end of 2020, Fear of God founder Jerry Lorenzo has finally revealed what he's calling the "third pillar" of Fear of God, standing tall alongside with the brand's vaunted mainline collections and world-conquering Essentials sub-label.
To be clear, the Fear of God Athletics campaign that debuted late on November 28 is not the world's introduction to FOG Athletics, not exactly.
There was that one headline-worthy runway show at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl earlier this year, for instance, where FOG Athletics gear was styled alongside FOG's latest in-house collection — you know, that ol' thing? The shindig that ended with Pusha T rapping in head-to-toe FOG Athletics?
Jerry Lorenzo himself has also offered snatches of FOG Athletics' vision in interviews and impromptu social media teasers, even revealing the first collaborative product not too long after the initial announcement by way of a low-key pop-up in Shanghai.
But this new campaign is the first proper FOG Athletics debut, foretelling the official release date of November 30, where the collection will be available to shop in-person until December 3 at 751 S Mission Rd.
Absurdly stylized imagery tastefully trickles out sepia-toned glimpses of Fear of God-branded goggles, jerseys, and hoodies. Models clad in earth-hued athleisure stroll unbothered through shin-high water, faces obscured by visor-laden caps, torso-swallowing capes, and knit beanies.
They clasp leather backpacks and shapeless shoulder bags, looking all the world like nomads scouring Tatooine for a pick-up game.
Underfoot, the sporty shoes that Fear of God and adidas have been painstakingly perfecting for years, despite occasional leaks. The sneakers are sculpted but soft, ready to ball but also humbly unassuming, content to lounge.
If it all feels a little YEEZY, that's no mistake. Kanye certainly taught Lorenzo, who worked for a spell as one of Ye's in-house stylists and de facto tastemakers. The FOG runway show was one of the first events to lure reclusive Ye out of hiding in early 2023, too.
But Fear of God is also its own distinct animal, not an offshoot of someone else's ideas. Lorenzo's label has honed its output razor-sharp over the past decade and it's entirely in its own lane.
Whereas Fear of God a decade ago was ripped shirts and skinny jeans, Fear of God today is crisp lines and louche tailoring. You might see shades of Ye's adidas YEEZY line in the beige hues and all-day ease of FOG Athletics but the label's sophisticated shapes demand closer inspection.
FOG Athletics is a complete ready-to-wear collection, luxurious in nature but utilitarian in ethos. Comparisons to the first YEEZY SEASON collection, the high-end sportswear offering that Ye and adidas produced in 2015, are inevitable.
But though it's not so far-fetched to view FOG Athletics a spiritual successor to the adidas YEEZY line, it's incorrect to posit that one begat the other.
“This is a role that is unprecedented in its very nature and nuanced attribution that it defies all titles and traditional definitions," Lorenzo said when the Fear of God Athletics partnership was confirmed back in December 2020.
"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."
Big promise. But if anyone's capable of fulfilling it, it's Jerry Lorenzo.