Hailed by many NBA fans as the league’s undisputed king of kicks, P.J. Tucker celebrated a personal first in footwear last Sunday: the unveiling of his sneaker collaboration with Giuseppe Zanotti, dubbed the ‘Urchin Rocks.’
The shoe is Tucker’s take on the Italian luxury footwear brand’s low-top Urchin sneaker. It dons red and black tones as an obvious nod to the Houston Rockets color scheme, and features a premium leather upper with suede on the toe, while the shoe’s most unique aspect is likely the lacing closure. Only 30 pairs were made and the shoe retails for $900 USD. For fans used to seeing Tucker pull out various exclusive models on the court, he says these won’t be seeing the hardwood at all as they’re strictly for off the court.
Highlighting the importance of the occasion, Tucker invited his Rockets teammates to attend the invite-only event at Giuseppe Zanotti’s Houston Boutique.
“It was awesome,” Tucker says of his teammate’s support. “They’re the main guys that are always on me about fashion and wearing certain things all the time. To have them there supporting me was pretty dope.”
The collaboration came to fruition when mutual friends of Tucker’s and Giuseppe Zanotti representatives pitched him the idea of working together. Tucker immediately thought it would be the perfect collaboration. Being new to collaborating on a luxury product, Tucker wasn’t sure what to expect but reveals that he learned a lot during the design process.
“They pretty much let me do whatever I wanted, which was the dope part,” he says. “We played around with a lot of different materials and they gave me a bunch of options on stuff that I could do and how it could work. They also let me pick and help guide the whole process. It was fun with it being the first time for me and seeing what kind of combinations work with different materials, and layering and all the detailed stuff you don’t really think about.”
Having now completed this first collaboration (and his popularity with NBA sneakerheads at an all-time high), it might not be long before we see Tucker work on further sneaker collaborations. Less than 24 hours after the release of the collaboration, he was already receiving interest regarding other opportunities to collaborate, something he’s looking forward to doing more of.
Tucker still has some productive years left in the NBA, however, we also be getting a early glimpse of what lies in store for him after he’s decided to retire from professional basketball. Whether footwear or apparel, Tucker knows his next career will be in fashion. Until that time comes, the Rockets forward is content on being a sponge and soaking up as much knowledge as he can.
“Right now, it’s fun to be able to do these collaborations, work with great people, see how things get done and see how the process goes,” he says. “I’ve fallen in love with it and I know it’s something that in the future — with any opportunities that come up — I’m only going to get better with it.”
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- Words: Christopher Cason