Adidas has tapped Nathan VanHook, a designer who spent over a decade at Nike and most recently served as Moncler’s head of footwear design, as the new VP of design for its basketball division, sneaker industry sources tell Complex.

Reached by Complex, both Adidas and VanHook declined to comment. Moncler did not respond to a request for comment. 

VanHook started at Nike in November 2008, working as a footwear designer on its Nike Sportswear line. There, he was responsible for the Air Yeezy 2, Kanye West’s second and final Nike signature shoe. The Air Yeezy 2 remains the most recognizable sneaker in VanHook’s portfolio.

VanHook went on to become a design director of footwear for Nike Training in 2013 and later Nike Football (soccer) in 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. Beginning in 2017, he was the senior creative director of footwear for its outdoor-focused All Conditions Gear line.

VanHook’s 12-year career at Nike ended in December 2020 during a company restructuring that resulted in significant job cuts.

After Nike, VanHook joined Moncler as its head of footwear design in June 2021. His joining the Italian brand was motivated in part by his friend Gino Fisanotti, a former Nike exec who became Moncler’s first-ever chief brand officer in June 2021.

“It was also an opportunity to do something totally different,” VanHook said of his move to Moncler in an interview with Complex last year. “And then also my strong suit is doing footwear for the outdoors, and Moncler’s DNA matched perfectly with what I think I’m really good at.”

During his brief time at Moncler, VanHook designed the Trailgrip sneaker, a chunky outdoor shoe that debuted in August 2022.

VanHook’s arrival at Adidas comes at a critical time for the German brand, which faces challenges in the wake of the termination of its Yeezy deal with Ye and a seemingly bumpy start to its partnership with Fear of God designer Jerry Lorenzo.

Adidas first announced its deal with Lorenzo in December 2020. In a press release on his role in the creative and business strategy for Adidas Basketball, Lorenzo said then that Fear of God and Adidas planned to “revolutionize the performance basketball industry forever.” 

Two years later, the collaboration has only yielded a single apparel drop, and Lorenzo distanced himself from an Adidas Basketball campaign in December 2022.

“The partnership between Adidas and Jerry Lorenzo has evolved over the past two years to a concentrated focus on the creation and development of Fear of God Athletics,” said a statement from Fear of God in December. The collaboration between Adidas and Lorenzo’s Fear of God brand is still expected to feature basketball products.