KIKO KOSTADINOV’S ASICS SOKAT; HIDDEN REFERENCES

One of the most striking alliances of the last seasons is making a comeback. Asics and Kiko Kostadinov launch a new silhouette and campaign that seems to mix all of the references that place Kiko Kostadinov as one of the designers of the future.

SNEAKER

It is built over gel technology that is 100% visible in its sole, an innovation that was presented in the Gel-Quantum Infinity, Kiko Kostadinov creates a new silhouette that substitutes the traditional lines for the Asics spiral logo. Deep diving into Asics’ archive, Kostadinov has discovered some of the strangest collections from the brand. One of them, Tsunahiki, is specifically designed for a traditional sport, the game of tug of war where two teams pull from either side of the rope until getting the rival to cross the central line. Whilst some of the original models from the Tsunahiki line have been reedited in its lifestyle collection, the collection has been renovating itself with models like the Tsunahiki109, a sneaker with a higher top in its interior that has inspired Kiko’s reinvention. The name of the new sneaker, Sokat, is in reference to the sport’s name in Euskera, Sokatira. The result is a very technological and asymmetric sneaker inspired by the archives of the brand in the least obvious way.

CAMPAIGN

The hidden nods don’t stop there in Asics’s new collaboration with Kiko Kostadinov. The campaign, with the same ironic touch and tendency to a strange normality seen in Kiko, is signed by Frank Lebon , a well-known name not only for his works for A$AP ROCKY or Mount Kimbie, but also for belong to an influential artistic family. 

His brother Tyrone has worked for Celine, Supreme, Calvin Klein or Frank Ocean. Their father, Mark Lebon has been considered (to his dismay) as one of the aesthetic fathers of the eighties’ Buffalo style, an unmistakable mix of low and high brow culture, luxury and urban culture, cowboys, reggae and punk that from The Face’s publications that defined the culture that we know today.

Mark Lebon used to photograph the clients of his brother James’ hair salon. CUTS was a cubicle where people like David Bowie, Goldie or Boy George went to, and it worked as the breeding ground for creating trends. Fraser Cooke (current Nike Special Projects Senior Director) worked there and from there Michael Kopelman thought of a way of distributing Stüssy and creating an “International Tribe” formed by Dante Ross (Tommy Boy’s A&R), Paul Mittleman (after working for adidas, he’s currently the Global Vice-president of Design of Converse), Luca Benini  (Slam Jam’s founder) Hiroshi Fujiwara or even James Lebon himself. A group that has increased in influence in the following decades until becoming the drivers of a style.

Michael Kopelman seems to be renovating his list of referents by including Kiko Kostadinov to his new project, AFFIX. Kostadinov started deconstructing garments of his protector and now Frank Lebon is his person of choice to direct Asics Sokat’s image, in a sort of tribute to the past.

A mixture of strange references to primitive streetwear, to technology, to the totems of urban fashion, Asics’ archives and the most innovative technology that turns their new collaboration into one of the most interesting ones of the season.