Months before LeBron James played his first game with the Los Angeles Lakers, he and Nike partnered with menswear designer John Elliott for a collection of items that was headlined by the coveted Icon QS.
Though prior to that, the collaborative partnership between James, Elliott and Nike, began with the LeBron Soldier X in 2016. The Icon QS debuted in a white upper that featured translucent panels and detailing and stitching around the toebox, sides of the shoe and heel to present a complete look.
“The idea for the sock — that was LeBron’s idea,” Elliott explained at the time of the initial release.
That version of the Icon QS sold out immediately, and so too did a release of an all-black model this past May. Now the shoe returns in white/sail, fuchsia and tan colorways.
The white and fuchsia colorways are due to release Thursday, Sept. 13 via Elliott channels, and Friday via Nike (SNKRS). The tan colorway arrives Wednesday, Oct. 9.
James and Elliott first connected in 2014, just two years after the designer launched his brand. “I got a call kind of out of the blue from someone who was saying they were LeBron’s stylist,” Elliott recalled when his collaboration with Nike was unveiled.
“At the time, the brand was still small. We were operating out of, like, literally a satellite room in a warehouse in Vernon, California, which is basically the armpit of L.A. We were just scrapping to get by.
“My first opportunity to meet LeBron, at an afterparty in L.A. in 2014, I was overwhelmed by the scale of him as an athlete; I couldn’t believe we were making clothes for him. Now, we were able to use Nike expertise to take the elements of our brand that he was most attracted to, and think about them in a way that was built for him.
The look and feel of their collection is that of versatility and functionality to match James’ style on the court and fashion sense off it. The LeBron James x John Elliott Icon QS is the brainchild of all parties involved.
“It’s a great story to tell, because it really hammers home my whole ethos as a designer, which is all about creating a layered look. When LeBron came up with the sock, it really completed the collection,” Elliott said. “In the end, I really learned from him.
“There are three forces at work — the John Elliott brand connects to Nike and the LeBron brand connects to Nike. Nike gives both an opportunity to explore, to employ a huge range of solutions and to make sure that you’re solving for problems.
“Although our brand is able to innovate in various textiles, with Nike we have a whole new set of options.”
Nike has not yet revealed the LeBron 17, though James recently provided a first look of his next signature shoe in an all-purple version with “2K” on the tongue.