I recently worked on a short book about the evolution of some flagship Gel designs with ASICS. While I get bamboozled by the sheer array of conceptual collaborations these days, I have a great deal of respect for this Japanese brand’s performance design language throughout the years. There’s actually more information on the earliest days of the Onitsuka line in this book’s typo-heavy predecessor, whereas this one focuses on the 1986-1994 era a lot harder. It would have been nice to see Sneakerlife.de get a credit for the borrowing of a few of his photos, but it was good fun to talk about some of the lesser-discussed models in the vault (as well as chatting with the designers themselves) and not focus on the pretty colours and materials for once. I swear that the hype has clouded the brilliance behind most of the silhouettes, so this was an attempt to celebrate them for their true purpose. Even if it’s a promo piece for the lifestyle-orientated ASICS Tiger EVO line. ASICS Tiger: An Evolution was created for promo purposes only, so it was strictly giveaway status. If you’re interested, chat with your local stockist and see if they ever got any.
I’m on holiday right now, so consider this my GONE FISHING sign. Normal service (well, longer rants) should resume at the end of next week, but I can’t stay away entirely. Catching up with Mr. Ronnie Fieg — a man who loves shoes as much as I do — we discussed whether kids who couldn’t give a shit about the things I throw up here still feel the innate credibility of a brand that had power back in the day as opposed to an old brand that sucked then and sucked now. ASICS is a good example: the Gel designs were worn by those looking for a break from the staggeringly obvious and their individual, Japanese approach to design has paid off at heritage level. Not enough people seem to recognise the Gel Lyte III’s groundbreaking approach to midsole densities and heel support beyond the strange Videodrome-esque tongue slit. Ronnie’s Dolphins colourway versions are powerful, taking me back to the days when I would have sold a lung for the Miami makeup of Pony Linebackers. Reading Pump Me Up, I got to look at a classic Glen E. Friedman portrait of D.C.’s D.I.Y. Def Jam legends, the Junk Yard Band and noticed that they’re repping the ASICS hard back in ’86.