The Fall/Winter ’20 season effectively marks the close of Kiko Kostadinov’s co-branded relationship with ASICS, a collaboration that has introduced standouts like the GEL-Burz 1, the GEL-Delva, and, more recently, the GEL-Kiril 2. Though the latter was intended to close out the partnership, the Bulgarian designer seems to have been offered a larger, more symbiotic role within the Japanese footwear brand’s SportStyle line.
A crowning achievement in a career laden with praise, the appointment is effectively an evolution of how Kostadinov has collaborated thus far. From his very first reconstructed capsule with Stussy to his refined, technical outerwear staples with Mackintosh, the Central Saint Martins alum would often overtly express his personal design language — one that ASICS has continued to put faith in since their meeting in 2018. And now, we’re to see an immense shift as the two further integrate under the SportStyle umbrella, Kostadinov and his team afforded the authority and creative freedom to advise the development of new footwear, the use of colors as well as materials, and much, much more.
“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 honored 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.”
A 50/50 enterprise between Kostadinov’s design team and ASICS DNA, the newfound union will first see the light of day in November, starting with the revived and heavily modified UB1-S GEL-Kayano 14.
Marked with special insignia to confirm its part in the project, the pair is currently prepared to release in two colorways: one of a more neutral variety while the other adds a retro tinge of hot pink. Both, whose constructions follow the general guidelines of the original, add atop very subtle modifications, however, as the toe cap appears more robust like that of the GEL-Burz 2 while the paneling elsewhere is seemingly chiseled down to reveal the loose gauge weave underneath. The Kayano 14’s original Tiger Stripe is then ripped to a near exact spec, its sharp cut a complement to the sculpted heel counter that also reminds of the original silhouette.
Finished with an oversized pull along the tongue, both options will become available later this November. Sit tight for word on a more solid release date, pricing, and its inevitable follow-up.
ASICS UB1-S GEL-Kayano 14
Release Date: November 2020