30 YEARS OF GOING AGAINST THE ODDS
A young and aspirational Shigeyuki Mitsui stepped into the role of a designer at ASICS in 1984 with the desire to disrupt the sneaker game for the better. He claims he was nobody special when he joined the company and was appointed to the team in charge of testing and development of a new material called “aGEL”. Soon assigned to the team that would go on to create the ASICS Gel Lyte ii where Mitsui-San would commit himself to the development of the prototype. What came next took the sneaker world by storm at an unprecedented rate.
The Gel Lyte iii was not only a one-of-its-kind sneaker but also an important piece of history for ASICS as it broke barriers and the norm of ASICS shoes being traditional and conservative. It was unique in its appearance and design, specially with its iconic split-tongue and unconventional styling cues. The split-tongue is undoubtedly one of the most talked-about features on a sneaker ever and serves the underrated function of keeping its position intact even after long hours of wear. The shoe was unique even in its choice of colourway, as the first two tones, Citrus and Coral, weren’t a part of the Pantone colour library back then.
Initially, Mitsui-San threw away the original design sketches for the GL3 as he didn’t expect it to get any positive reception amongst the public and the technology was considered unruly. Staying true to their roots, ASICS did not compromise on the function in favour of design which has led to the Gel Lyte iii becoming one of the most loved and revered silhouettes from the ASICS footwear arsenal.
Some of the best collaborative efforts on the iconic ASICS Gel Lyte iii are –
Asics x Hanon Gel Lyte III Wild Cat
Asics Gel Lyte III Woei Cervidae
Asics Gel Lyte III x Ronnie Fieg Volcano
Asics Gel Lyte III x Slam Jam Fifth Dimension