Soletron Exclusive: Interview With Robbie Fuller – Designer of the Adidas AdiZero Rose 2.5

Published: 26th March 2012
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Soletron recently had the privilege of talking with Robbie Fuller, Category Designer for Adidas Basketball and US Advanced Concepts, about the new AdiZero Rose 2.5. Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose debuted his new sneaker this past Friday (1/27/12) on the Bulls home court against the Milwaukee Bucks. Fuller, who has been the mastermind behind the AdiZero Rose line and other innovative Adidas Basketball designs, gave us some great insight into how he created the AdiZero Rose 2.5 and what Adidas Basketball is looking to accomplish moving forward. Enjoy the interview and keep your eyes peeled for D-Rose in those Bulls games, because he’ll be showing off new colorways as the season continues. Get your pair on February 2 when the sneakers officially hit stores! I think this interview will show you how much thought, planning, and effort went into making this sneaker, and when you hear how it was designed you’ll know that you have to go get a pair!

The AdiZero sneakers have really brought a lot of energy and success to Adidas Basketball. How does it feel to be one of the driving forces behind that achievement?

“It feels great and it has been an amazing experience. Everything has really come together really well and it has been a really exciting time for myself and for Adidas Basketball.”

What do you think Adidas Basketball offers that other brands don’t?

“It starts with us doing light right. If we can take an ounce or even a half of an ounce off a sneaker, then that’s one less ounce that a player has to lift throughout the course of a game. We work to create state-of-the-art technology for our sneakers not just in terms of weight, but in other aspects like traction and ankle support, in pursuit of making products that can optimize a player’s skill on the court. We focus on making products that make players more efficient and in that regard we feel that we’re contributing to the game of Basketball.”

How has the Derrick Rose AdiZero line influenced the standard for Adidas Basketball?

“Well it’s a very special time for Adidas Basketball and Derrick Rose is a special player. He’s been able to achieve so much in such a short career thus far and he really motivates us. Seeing the success that he has accrued really motivates us to make sure that we’re creating the best products and that anything we make is discussed with him and meets his standards for what he needs in a sneaker.”

Tell us about the inspiration for the AdiZero Rose 2.5, and why you guys made it?

“The 2.5 was really inspired by a desire to continue the story that we started with the AdiZero Rose line. When we were designing the AdiZero Rose 2.0 we came up with this storyline of Derrick having plans to take over and to win all these championships, which means that everyone else’s plans would have to be cancelled. We worked that story into the 2.0. The 2.5 represents the “take off” stage, and Rose being at cruising altitude, which is just the next part in the story that we uniquely worked into the design of the 2.5. If you look at the toe of the 2.5 you can see that we designed a satellite view of Englewood from what it would be like flying over the city. We did this to represent Rose flying high above the competition.”

The ankle bands on the AdiZero Rose 2.0 were an innovative feature. How does the change to the ankle “pillow” on the 2.5 affect the shoe’s performance and style?

“Well to start, the AdiZero Rose 2.5 is a higher cut sneaker, which is more supportive and provides some different benefits. While the styles are different we didn’t make the Rose 2.5 to pit against the 2.0. The 2.5 is a different sneaker that we created as a way of giving customers more options. I wouldn’t say that one has advantages over the other it’s simply a different style that we offer to give customers more options to meet their personal preferences.”

Tell us a little about the Sprint System. This has been a consistent feature among the AdiZero Rose sneakers and was enlarged for the 2.0. Have there been any changes to the Sprint System for the 2.5?

“Yes, the 2.5 is built similarly to the Crazy Light. For the 2.5 the Sprint System is stitched on unlike older versions where it was glued on. This not only saved us materials and proved to be a more efficient method of designing the sneaker, but it was also one way of making the sneaker lighter. The 2.5 is also My Coach compatible, which is a great tool for anyone who buys the shoe. We also improved the traction system.”

Going off your “starting from Rose” philosophy, how did you work with Derrick to improve on the design of the AdiZero Rose 2.5 from a style standpoint?

“As we explained for the 2.0, the style of the sneaker is just as important to Derrick as the sneaker’s performance so we did make improvements to the style, but we also liked themes from the 2.0 that we kept for the 2.5. The biggest new style feature on the 2.5 is the satellite view of Englewood, which is Derrick’s hometown in Chicago. This is a specific print we developed and we thought that it fit perfectly with the theme of Rose flying at cruising altitude; this print represents the view you would see from above the city. We also stayed with the stripes on the back of the sneaker as the last thing people see when Rose blows by them on the court.”

From the Crazy Light to all the AdiZero Rose sneakers, but especially the 2.0 and now the 2.5, you guys have set a very high standard and created some innovative designs. How do you go forward from here?

“We’re still going to focus on improving performance, the Sprint Web as well as support and traction features. Moving forward I think a good way to describe our approach would be “cautious.” We don’t want to get carried away with all these different design features. We want to keep it simple, always keep Derrick in mind, but continue to work on and improve on the function and efficiency of the sneaker. From a style standpoint we saw great results from the 2.0. Our customers really adopted the sneaker into their lifestyle. We don’t want to make changes for no reason, so to maintain high quality in that regard, we want to make sure that we’re going to the right cities, the right schools, and speaking with the right people so we can get accurate feedback to know what we have to do going forward.”

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