If you've only been paying attention to adidas lately in order to see its long-awaited collaboration with Kanye West, you're missing out. Because another G.O.O.D. Music artist worked with the brand recently, and the result is a banger. Complete with cracked Italian leather, Pyrex measurements on the sole, and fish scales on the heel, the $200 EQT Running Guidance '93 that Pusha T designed is as luxurious and cocaine-fueled as his braggadocios flow. Anyone familiar with Pusha's work should recognize where this shoe came from.
But this collaboration, at least in its present form, almost didn't happen. It's not what Pusha wanted to do with adidas. "I really came to adidas to try to do something with soccer, and it didn’t pan out. My thinking was a little off base," Pusha told us before a brief, one-song appearance at adidas Originals' pop-up gallery on Wooster Street in New York City. "Then they brought up a shoe, and I was like, ‘Nah, not really,’ because I’m really particular about my shoes. They came back to me with it, and I had some silhouette options. Then I was like, ‘This EQT Guidance, I can work with it.’"
With the sneaker's glaring reference to nefarious activities, it's impressive that adidas agreed to put it together at all. The brand has never played things safe, though, and Pusha knew the sneaker had to be properly executed for it to get approved. "There wasn’t a pushback, I just had to make sure everything was done tastefully," Pusha said. "I think given the color palette and it coming from me, it’s sort of bold. But in all honesty, it’s Italian cracked leather and it’s fresh."
Finding a home at adidas was huge for Pusha. Not only was he linked up with Kanye, his fellow G.O.O.D. Music labelmate, but he also connected with Big Sean, who is also on G.O.O.D. Music, and Pharrell and Nigo, two people that helped give him a start in music fashion. With so much rap-world talent working with the brand, it can make one wonder if adidas is overdoing it. But Pusha doesn't see things that way.
"I think adidas really understands that it’s cool to be in business with the right people. It really feels like a bunch of creative minds, rather than some rap guys stamping their names on a sneaker," he said. "We’re arguing over shoes, ideas, and everything — it’s like a tug of war. But at the end of the day, we get this [points to his sneakers] and I couldn’t be happier."
For those paying attention to the world of retro runners, this isn't Pusha's first time being associated with a collaboration. His clothing brand, Play Cloths, has an ongoing partnership with Saucony, releasing a motocross-themed sneaker this past weekend. This is, however, the first time he's put his own name on a pair of footwear. He's also close to people who do these projects on a regular basis, and he looks up to them.
"Ronnie Fieg, that’s my man," Pusha said. "I post his stuff as soon as I get it. I see what the passion is behind it. I see the process that goes into it, and it’s an art form. I don’t know who can do 12-15 collaborations, because, to me, this took a lot."
The sneaker hasn't dropped yet, with a slated release date of December 23, but it's already gained a serious amount of attention. Maybe it's because it's the adidas collaboration that we weren't waiting on—as Pusha claims, "It came out of left field"—but it's bringing hopes that there are more King Push sneakers in the future.