Highsnobiety

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma is always on the move. Whether it be meetings at construction sites or traveling to different countries, you’ll rarely find the architect in the office and he needs sneakers to support his busy daily life. So, he’s collaborated with ASICS to create just the right sneakers. 

The ASICS x Kengo Kuma Archisite ORU™ is made with versatility front of mind, allowing Kuma to move from construction sites to the lobby of an upscale hotel without feeling the need to change footwear.

“Based on Mr. Kuma’s ideas, we wanted to create comfortable shoes that fit a variety of environments and lifestyles,” Jun Takei, ASICS Senior Designer who created the sneakers together with Kengo Kuma, told Highsnobiety

“We proposed a very relaxed inner construction, and for the outer, we proposed materials and construction that could be adapted to different environments. Then we proposed different folding and fastening methods and selected materials that could be used in different environments.” 

The resulting shoe has a two-layer structure on the upper. On the outside of the shoe, a durable, translucent fabric wraps around grey-colored panels that are criss-crossed beneath it. 

The outer shroud is reminiscent of origami in the way it folds over itself and is held down by two red cords that clip into the inside of the shoe. 

It’s safe to say these aren’t typical sneakers, however, Kuma didn’t want to make something ordinary and commercial: “Kuma san told us that he would like to promote something sharp that sticks to the essence of the times, rather than something that will sell,” says Takei. 

Whether or not these left-field sneakers will sell is yet to be seen, the shoes are pre-launching on June 21 at ASICS' Paris pop-up shop — where new collaborations with Doublet, Cecilie Bahnsen, and UP THERE will also be revealed.

This collaboration marks the third time that Kengo Kuma and ASICS have created shoes together, however, this is the first time it has been as part of ASICS’ SportStyle line. Despite working in different fields, the two continue to find common ground. 

“Although architecture and footwear are completely different, I think we share the same desire to enrich people's lives and make them more comfortable,” says Takei. “Although they are completely different fields, I believe we can continue to create good synergy, so please look forward to the fourth installment.”

This collaboration hasn’t even dropped yet and it sounds like ASICS and Kengo Kuma are already planning their next release. 

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