The 10 Greatest Asics Collaborations of All Time

Asics is one of the most storied sportswear companies in history. Founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka back in 1949, the Japanese label’s name is actually an acronym for the Latin phrase anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to “a sound mind in a sound body.”

The brand started out specializing in basketball shoes before expanding to a wide variety of sport—most notably running. Its most iconic sneaker remains the Mexico 66, designed for the 1966 Olympic pre-trials, which eventually found popularity in Asian markets after Bruce Lee sported the model in his final film, 1972’s Game of Death. 

In the early ‘60s, a budding entrepreneur named Phil Knight approached Asics, hoping to become their first salesman in the US. After several years of working closely together, that relationship began to crumble, and Knight decided to start a sportswear line of his own. (Perhaps you’ve heard of it.)

For many years, Asics was largely overlooked by sneakerheads—more known for its technical running prowess than its ability to generate hype. Over the past few years, however, a few key partnerships that span the fashion and streetwear universes have helped recharge the Japanese stalwart—and turn it into arguably the hottest sneaker brand in the world right now. From Kiko Kostadinov to Vivienne Westwood, these are the major Asics collaborations every sneakerhead should know. 

Andersson Bell

Launched in 2014, this South Korean androgynous clothing label is inspired by the cultures of Seoul and Stockholm. In 2021, Asics tapped the brand to showcase that peculiar fusion via the Gel-1090 runner. Since then, they’ve released two further collections, taking on the HN2-S Protoblast and the all-new Gel-Sonoma.

The sneaker to buy:

Andersson Bell x Asics Gel-1090 ‘Orange’

Awake NY

Angelo Baque, the former Supreme brand director, is no stranger to developing a hot sneaker. His brand Awake NY, which launched in 2018, has become of Asics’s most reliable collaborators over the years—their first linkup, a 2019 spin on the Gel-Kayano 5 360, sold out literally within minutes of dropping. Even four years later, you’ll still have a hard time finding a pair for less than a month’s rent.  Earlier this year, the duo connected again on two versions of the Gel-NYC, a nod to the streetwear label’s New York roots.

The sneaker to buy:

Layer 2

Awake NY x Asics Gel-Kayano 5 360 ‘Silver’

Brain Dead

For over a decade, Los Angeles-based collective Brain Dead has built its reputation on wild graphics and freaky palettes. The brand’s first collab with Asics arrived in 2021, but the partnership truly hit its stride this year with an alluring purple-heavy Gel-Nimbus 9. 

The sneaker to buy:

Layer 3

Brain Dead x Asics Gel-Nimbus 9 ‘Nightshade’

Cecilie Bahnsen

During Paris Fashion Week last September, Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen debuted artful interpretations of three of Asics’ most popular track shoes. Crafted from a combination of leather and mesh, each pair was decorated with dainty, hand-cut flowers. These turned out to be extremely limited (we’re talking 50 pairs each), but a handful of other incredible Bahnsen Asics have dropped since—including a ballet-flat-esque adaptation of the GT-2160. 

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top