Kiko Kostadinov and ASICS began their relationship with the release of the GEL-BURZ 1 in the spring of 2018, the first designer-led collaboration in the 70-year history of the ASICS brand. Starting from November onwards, this partnership will now evolve into a multi-year initiative that will see the Kiko Kostadinov team working in tandem with ASICS designers, advising and curating on a new line within ASICS Sportstyle – with his first release, The UB1-S GEL-KAYANO™ 14, launching this November.
The initial collaboration between ASICS and Kiko Kostadinov was built on the principles of convergence. By combining Kostadinov’s design ethos – an esoteric point-of-view filtered through the lens of utilitarianism – with the advanced performance knowledge of ASICS, the GEL-BURZ 1 became an instant classic when it debuted in Kiko Kostadinov’s Spring/Summer 2018 show. It was subsequently distributed to world-renowned shopping destinations such as Dover Street Market, The Broken Arm and SSENSE,resulting in an acute level of engagement and awareness for both the ASICS and Kiko Kostadinov brands.
To date, the collaboration has birthed ten models, often debuting in Kiko Kostadinov’s Menswear and Womenswear shows. Each silhouette has added their own visual identity and language to the collection, whilst utilising technologies ASICS has honed over the years such as; FLYTEFOAM™ and GUIDANCE LINE™ blurring the lines between performance-wear and fashion.
The success has led to a deepening of the relationship between Kiko Kostadinov and ASICS with both sides working together to take the partnership to a new level. Today, the two companies are proud to announce that the Kiko Kostadinov brand will be curating multiple styles within ASICS Sportstyle, in both men’s and women’s (led by Laura and Deanna Fanning). The project will see the Kiko Kostadinov design team working closely with ASICS over multiple seasons, advising them on the development of the new silhouettes and on explorations of materiality and colour, building on the already existing qualities offered within the ASICS Sportstyle umbrella. The product will no longer be co-branded, but rather will use a distinct signifier symbolising the new initiative. The development is a testament to Kiko Kostadinov’s importance to ASICS, which has seen the design team’s vision inform and inspire other elements of the wider ASICS collections.
“We are very proud of the work that ASICS and Kiko Kostadinov have done together over the last few years. From day one, ASICS showed an openness and willingness towards the new ideas and new directions that the Kiko Kostadinov design team presented to them. Their trust in our vision is what has made this partnership such a success. We are deeply honoured to be building further on this partnership with this new developmental initiative. It will allow us to integrate deeper within the ASICS brand, beyond relying on yesterday’s models of collaboration – affording us the space to approach our work through a more considered filter, with an eye towards tomorrow.” – Kiko Kostadinov
This new chapter is a watershed moment for ASICS and in turn, signals their expansion into a fashion-forward landscape. By evolving the relationship from collaboration into something more symbiotic, the Kostadinov universe will merge with the DNA of ASICS Sportstyle – conceiving new styles and ideas that honour the heritage, values and innovation of ASICS, operating at the intersect of style and performance wear.
Launching in November 2020, the UB1-S GEL-KAYANO™ 14 will be the first release within this initiative, the model, a cornerstone of ASICS technological development, has seen a strong, continued popularity over the years and is the perfect silhouette to signify the new direction of Sportstyle.
“It has been amazing to see our relationship with Kiko Kostadinov grow over the years and evolve to where we are today. Sportstyle is a unique category within ASICS that combines our archive of classic designs with the latest sport technologies from our Performance categories. Working closely with Kiko, with his unique perspective on function and fashion, made perfect sense. The partnership has inspired our internal teams and energised our brand as a whole. We are excited to continue working together to find new ways to uplift and excite our audience in all aspects of life.” – Go Suzuki, ASICS Sportstyle Footwear Division, Senior General Manager