Lift Off

by October 06, 2011


by Nima Zarrabi | @NZbefree

When an enormous plume of ash resulting from a volcanic eruption in Iceland grounded flights across the globe last spring, adidas designer Robbie Fuller was traveling through Europe, building up inspiration for Derrick Rose’s next signature shoe, the adiZero Rose 2.0 [pictured above]. Fuller ended up stranded for seven days. As he walked into his hotel lobby one morning, he noticed a TV that was updating flights. Every city listed had the word CANCELLED directly next to it, and Fuller realized he had his inspiration.

“That was exactly what was happening with Derrick’s career,” Fuller explains. “If you’re any other city, your goals and dreams are cancelled. Chicago and Derrick are cleared for take off.”

Rose’s excitement for his third signature shoe for the three-stripe becomes evident the moment he picks up the pretty sneak, passionately explaining every single detail. He worked closely with adidas on this edition, offering his input to designers every two weeks during the creative process. Rose wanted a fashionable sneaker that would immediately be deemed iconic and fresh—kicks versatile enough to be worn with pants. “When I was younger, I wasn’t able to afford two pairs of shoes,” Rose says. “The same shoe you wore to school, you were going to hoop in, too. I’m from Chicago. We’re into style. We’re not going to just go out there and wear an ugly shoe.”

Fuller and his team have delivered: the adiZero Rose 2.0 is a beautiful performance sneaker with sparkling finishes and dope details. ALL FLIGHTS CANCELLED is stitched to the top of the tongue and the shoe’s sock liner reveals a list of NBA cities similar to the way destination cities are listed on an airport status board. “Every city listed says flight cancelled, except for Chicago,” Rose says, smiling.

Adidas uses its SprintWeb technology for a light breathable upper and the ankle closure system was inspired by the adidas Y-3 Kazuhiri according to Fuller. Rose’s signature is featured on the ankle strap and his No. 1 is on the base of the tongue. The outsole resembles a lava flow, more inspiration drawn from that glorious Icelandic volcano.

For his part, Rose loves the concept. “Our designer says I play like a volcano, where it erupts and that’s the way I play, with a lot of speed,” Rose says. “I love the little things like that that they’ve put in my shoe.”

For Fuller, the challenge in cobbling the adiZero Rose 2.0 was living up to Derrick’s expectations and MVP stature. “He’s completely accelerated his game as the reigning MVP,” he says. “The challenge was fusing performance and style into something that is worthy of Derrick. I think we’ve done that with a luxurious performance shoe.”