January 14, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 28
The iconic Gel Lyte III has no doubt been a popular canvas for collaborations over the years, but it’s been pretty rare to see it appear as a multi-shoe pack. Between their Olympic-inspired “Five Rings” pack and last year’s “Phantom Lagoons” Gel Saga, California retailer BAIT, has proven that they’re plenty capable when it comes to coloring up Asics’ classic silhouettes, so a lot of ears perked up when news broke that they would be doing a three-shoe Gel Lyte III collection. The BASICS Program debuted in mid-December with the mean-looking camo-covered Model-001 Vanquish edition, setting the stage for the fusing of some unconventional materials and design elements for a creative take on the “everyday living” concept that will continue to play out over the course of the other two colorways.
Whatever the colors, materials, or blocking, the Gel Lyte III usually manages to look good no matter what’s done to it, but BAIT has certainly gone above and beyond in terms of looking past the more traditional suede/mesh approach in their constructions. Now with the introduction of the Model-002 Guardian, we’re through the first two-thirds of the BASICS GL3 drops, and so far, we’ve seen some
interesting material choices across both installments that have given the classic silhouette a rugged new identity and some of its boldest looks to date. With both colorways featuring nailhead suede, metal wire mesh, and custom jacquard camouflage, BAIT has effectively transformed the Gel Lyte III from a typically light and airy runner into a more heavy-duty “extreme conditions” version with post-apocalypse-ready applications should it ever come to that.
The upcoming Guardian edition also packs the added bonus of honeycomb hexagon 3M accents, a full speckled midsole, and waxed rope laces to help it further stand out from not only the Vanquish, but any other Gel Lyte IIIs that have come before them. The BAIT x Asics “BASICS Model-002 Guardian” will be available in-store at BAIT’s Diamond Bar and Orange County locations on Saturday, January 25th and you can register for the online release here. Continue on for a full gallery of images as well as an interview with BAIT Founder/Creative Director, Eric Cheng, who gives us the inside scoop on the Guardian, the BASICS Program, and the unique materials and concepts that bring it to life.