A$AP Ferg Gets Creative With Adidas Adi-Ease Collaboration, Goes Crazy With Future
The much-anticipated Adidas x A$AP Ferg collaboration will launch tomorrow (Dec. 5) in Miami during a special event at Art Basel. The Traplord x Adi-ease collection serves as a tribute to the late A$AP Yams with several of the pieces focusing on the vision and life of Yamborghini.
Designed entirely by Ferg, the collaborative project with Adidas features two Adi-Ease silhouettes as well as a wide range of apparel. The collection consists of two long sleeve tees in black and white, as well as two short sleeve tees in the same colorways. The two Adi-Ease sneakers from the collection are dressed in black and cream and feature crosses throughout the entire canvas of the silhouette followed by the words, “Hood Pope” on the heel and “Always Strive and Prosper” on the three-stripe branding.
XXL recently spoke with the mastermind behind this collaboration, A$AP Ferg, to get more details about the collection, an update on his forthcoming album, Always Strive and Prosper, and the "crazy" collaboration in store with Future.
How long was this collaboration in the works?
The collaboration has been in the works for a while. I mean, Adidas has been supportive of me since "Work," my first single, and I got introduced to them through my manager Geno and I've been going to meetings with Rocky when he was doing his shoe and they remembered me, and they love my brand so it was only right that we did a collaboration.
What was it about the Adidas brand that made you want to do this collab?
I just seen what they've been doing with all of the artists from Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, 2 Chainz and every rapper you can basically think about. It's just how they blew up and took their brand to a newer level just culture-wise, and how in tune they are with the culture. It felt only right for me to go to Adidas. I wear Adidas on a regular. I love what they did with Raf Simons, Jeremy Scott. I've always worn Y-3, so I've been a big fan of the brand for a long time, so it was blessing for me to work with them.
How involved were you in the creative process of the shoe?
I designed the whole shoe myself. I mean, if you go on my Instagram you can see me painting a huge canvas of A$AP Yams and you see this vision of like a yellow ray coming out of his eye with the rigid city background with him building a globe with the A$AP Mob blueprint at the bottom of them. That just signifies how much of a visionary he was, so I wanted to put a piece of that painting in each shoe, so if you get the shoe you’ll see a different part of the painting in each sole and each sole is different in everybody’s shoe.
I picked the cream suede and the black suede. I designed the monogram logo. The TL logo that’s all over the shoe which is my Trap Lord logo, the "Hood Pope" in the back I wrote myself. "Always Strive and Prosper" on the stripes, I wrote myself. You know, everything was just me. Oh, and I can’t forget, I got the Hood Pope lyrics on the laces.
You worked with the Adidas Skating division on this shoe. How influential is skating in the hip-hop culture?
Skating has been very influential because skaters listen to hip-hop, you know. I grew up riding bikes and hanging with a bunch of different skaters in Harlem 'cause we all stuck together coming out of Harlem. Going to the same parties and wearing the same sneakers and into the same clothes, so skating is very influential.
You've worked on apparel collabs in the past, but what was more challenging with this collection? The footwear design or the apparel design?
For the shoe, I already had the silhouette, so it was easy for me to just do a bunch of different drafts and Adidas gave me shoes to like work with and test out and design on, so I think the shoe came out more organic because the thing is with apparel, I don’t like wearing too much logos and things like that on my shirts, so I just wanted to figure out like a cool way I can design and brand the artwork on the shirts.
So we teamed up and did a bunch of different designs and I came up with the cool concept of just putting the painting on the front of the shirt with the Adidas logo on top of the painting with like the different logos on the sleeves with the blueprint that I have on the painting in the back of the shirt, so I think it’s a cool concept. More of a collectors item too for the kids that are big fans of the A$AP movement.
Why did you choose the Adidas Adi-Ease as the shoe for your collab?
Well, it just connected with the culture more. You know I felt the kids that are into my music gravitate more to that shoe because of the culture we in of skateboarding, BMX, bike riding. All of those things, so I just thought that it would be a perfect fit.
You're launching the sneaker in a unique way. Tell me about that.
The shoe drops Dec. 5 in Miami at Art Basel 2015. It’s dedicated to Yams. We launching a shoe with an art gallery with Brock Fetch, who is a very longtime friend of mine. He has very rare pictures of me and the Mob since day one. You got very rare pictures that we’re raffling off and all the proceeds is going to Yams’ mom and family.
Will there by any of your paintings at the event?
My painting will be there. The one that I did of Yams and it's just going to be photography.
How cool is it that hip-hop is embracing the art culture?
It’s very cool. I feel like as long as it keeps elevating and it continues to be surrounded by the artists it'll be great. I don’t want it to get too mainstream to where it's not about the artists anymore because it is about the artist to showcase their work. I love what Swizz Beatz is doing as far as the Dean Collection and allowing kids to come out there and sell their art and actually get paid 100 percent, you know.
Sometimes these art galleries take more than half of the profits of each painting that’s being sold, so he allows these kids to come out there and really make some money and I just love the direction that Art Basel is going. I went last year and shot my video "Doe-Active" and it basically showcased the whole event and it was just amazing and I was overwhelmed. This year we’re coming fully equipped with a shoe that everybody is going to love and an art show that I think people are going to walk away happy from.
I know the album is coming in January, but I hear you got a fire track with Future, right?
I got a crazy joint with Future. It's called "New Levels" and it's going to be dropping really soon. It's going to be a bomb to the world. I promise you. It's going to be the Ferg that everybody miss and love.
And when is the video you directed for Future dropping?
Oh, that was crazy! The video is already done. I’m just waiting for Future’s people to tell me when to drop it. As soon as they tell when to press that red button, I’m going to do it.