Take a Look Inside ASICS' Recreation of Chief Designer Shigeyuki Mitsui's Studio

2 July 2019

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the designer's iconic GEL-LYTE III sneaker, the interactive exhibition took visitors back to the '90s during Paris Fashion Week.

A mainstay of contemporary sneaker culture, the ASICS GEL-LYTE III entered the world as a revolutionary model in 1990. Designed by Chief Designer Shigeyuki Mitsui, more commonly known as Mitsui-san, the innovative footwear silhouette has enjoyed nearly 30 years of life. A celebrated and storied icon of streetwear and sneakerhead culture, the GEL-LYTE III boasts a plethora of colourways and collaborations across the duration of its three-decade life so far. From atmos to Ronnie Fieg, the much-lauded, split-tongued marvel is the crowning glory of ASICS' SportStyle collection.

To celebrate the life of the GEL-LYTE III and Mitsui-san's rich legacy of impeccable design, as he moves into his final year with the company, ASICS honour both sneaker and designer with this exhibition. Held in the ASICS HOUSE at Paris Fashion Week, the Japanese sportswear label offered an insight into the design process behind the iconic shoe, with Amsterdam-based creative agency Likefriends working closely with Mitsui-san to ensure that the exhibition remained accurate and true to the integral moments in the GEL-LYTE III story.

Commenting on the legendary sneaker, Mitsui-san said “It was on a desk like this where I drew my first sketches of the GEL-LYTE III. I never expected the GEL-LYTE III to become the icon it is today and threw away most of my initial sketches.” Honouring the unexpected success of the sneaker, visitors were gifted a hand-drawn, signed and crumpled sketch from the designer. Featuring a display showcasing the original GEL-LYTE III sneaker, an 8-bit video-game and a playable voicemail via the phone on Mitsui-san's desk, the story of the GEL-LYTE III was told and celebrated, capturing the stylish but functional approach to design championed by the veteran sneaker stalwart.

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