Houston Rockets Forward on His New Giuseppe Zanotti Sneaker, Inspired by the Original “Urchin” Low-Top

There’s always a sneaker story to be told, and Sunday’s celebration of the release of the “Urchin Rocks” sneaker that Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker co-created with Giuseppe Zanotti is one you should definitely know.

Tucker hosted his teammates, including James Harden, Chris Paul, Zhou Qi, Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss, Michael Carter Williams and Clint Capela at the Giuseppe Zanotti boutique, located in River Oaks District. Inside the boutique, the Italian luxury brand constructed 15 custom lockers for the players, each containing a pair of the shoe in their specific sizes. Yes, that includes a size 19 for Zhou Qi.

James Ennis III, from left, Marquese Chriss, Clint Capelo, P.J. Tucker, Michael Carter Williams, Brandon Knight and Zhou Qi

Custom lockers inside the Giuseppe Zanotti boutique in River Oaks District

In 2016 SLAM Magazine named Tucker as the “number one sneakerhead in the National Basketball Association (NBA)” not only because of the number of sneakers in his collection but also their quality.

“Sneakers for me are more than just an obsession, they’re a form of self-expression, a reflection of how I feel,” said Tucker in a statement.

The collaboration felt familiar for Zanotti, an Italian luxury footwear and fashion designer known for jeweled heels and fashion-forward sneakers.

“I’ve always been inspired by people who are passionate about fashion and style, whether musicians, actors or athletes,” Giuseppe said in a statement. “It was great fun to work with P.J. on this special project.”

Zanotti’s son, Riccardo – who was involved in the design process – and the brand’s president, Alain Blume, flew in from Italy to participate in the celebration.

Riccardo Zanotti, P.J. Tucker and Alain Baume, president of Giuseppe Zanotti

When designing this limited edition sneaker, Tucker and Zanotti kept details from the original “Urchin” low-top, including the shape and signature three-dimensional scales. It features a one-of-a-kind lacing with two zippers on each side, luxurious textures, including leather for the upper and suede, as seen in the toe. The Rockets’ team colors – red and black – are also used throughout the sneaker.

“Urchin Rocks”

The “Urchin Rocks” retails for $995 and is available exclusively at the Houston boutique as well as online, at giuseppezanotti.com.

Photography by Kathleen O’Ryan