NEW DROP: Asics’ latest design collaboration isn’t just about buzz.
The sports giant has tapped Antwerp-based Kassl — best-known for its cult, seamless outerwear — to reimagine its popular GEL-1090 sneakers, which were then produced in a limited run of 30 pairs to be raffled for charity by online streetwear destination End.
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All proceeds will go to the mental health charity, Mind, as part of an ongoing initiative by Asics dubbed Crafts for Mind. The aim is to raise funds and awareness around mental health, while also championing the power of well-crafted, durable products.
With the bigger purpose of the project in mind, the Kassl design collective has added its own spin to the Asics sneakers by wrapping the front of the shoes with a protective sheath, made from its signature oil fabric in a neutral white or trendy bright green shade, similar to the one Bottega Veneta helped popularize.
“The inspiration started with the core of Kassl itself, and how we can translate this into an Asics sports shoe. We make jackets to protect [the wearer] from the elements using our core oil fabric, while the purpose for this shoe was to contribute to Crafts for Mind, which is dedicated to protecting mental health. This led us to develop a protection of the Asics shoe in our typical oil fabric,” said Ilse Cornelissens, one of the label’s founders, adding that the creative exchange and opportunity to test a new category were also part of the appeal, as the brand works toward creating its own head-to-toe Kassl look.
The brand has already been expanding its remit and applying its signature oil fabric to everything from tote bags to furniture, even collaborating with Zara Home on a capsule range of modular furnishings, unveiled last September at Milan’s Salone del Mobile.
“We didn’t use the word ‘Editions’ in our name for nothing. We like to work together and are always open. A collaboration with Asics felt like a comfortable marriage, since we ourselves like to wear Asics in our daily wardrobe and during sports.”
To mark the launch, model and meditation teacher Hannelore Knuts worked with Kassl to create a video diary where she showcases the new sneaker style with 30 outfits from her existing wardrobe.
The charity raffle will close on Jan. 29.