April 23, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 17
Even before BAIT opened the doors of its first retail location back in the Summer of 2012, we had already caught wind of their Olympics-inspired ASICS “Rings Pack”. The ambitious five-shoe collection not only made the statement that BAIT would be hitting the ground running when it came to collaborative projects, but also cemented a strong relationship with ASICS that has since gone on to produce other co-branded fruits like last year’s “Phantom Lagoons” Gel Saga and most recently, an intriguing conceptual three-pack of Gel Lyte IIIs.
Dubbed the BASICS Program, BAIT set out to create a collection of footwear that blended common and uncommon elements to create some progressive solutions to your everyday sneaker needs. In the process, they’ve given the Gel Lyte III, a model that has frequently been colored up and reworked by some of the most acclaimed design minds in the game, some of its boldest and most forward-thinking looks to date.
Gritty nailhead suede has been the common thread among the three BASICS offerings, but from there we’ve seen a variety of daring material choices. On the “Model-001 Vanquish”, we saw the GL3 get its first taste of camo courtesy of a custom-developed jacquard accented by sections of metal wire mesh that gave the classic silhouette its most rugged look ever.
For the 002 installment, the “Guardian”, BAIT switched up the color palette but revisited the same core materials, only this time using the wire mesh to encase the camouflage jacquard for a shimmering metallic finish unlike anything we’ve ever seen on a sneaker. Honeycomb style reflective accents added the final bit of pop along with the waxed round laces that appear on all three.
Now at long last, the third and final contribution to the BASICS Gel Lyte III series is upon us. The “Nippon Blues” edition takes a sharp turn from other two, still using the nailhead suede but swapping the military look of the camo for a nod to Asics’ heritage and Japanese roots. The 003 upper sports a patterned indigo kasuri textile imported from Japan, giving the shoe a drastic aesthetic contrast from the first two and combining with red accents and a hickory denim footbed to capture some additional elements of the cultural influences behind the concept.
In-store reservations will begin this Saturday, April 26th with a limited number of pairs available at their Diamond Bar and Orange County locations. Their third store will open on Melrose on May 3rd for release day and will have the “Nippon Blues” available first come, first serve with no reservations. You’ll also have a chance to pick up the first two installments if you missed them and even a bundle of all three, so check out details for the online raffle registration here and enjoy our exclusive preview gallery ahead.