Bringing Kiko Kostadinov and his team of designers in-house has been one of ASICS’ best decisions in the last few years. Not only did the move kick-start a wave of “in-sourced collabs,” but bringing Kostadinov in as a design consultant also meant that a lot of ASICS’ mainline gems and OG models were given a refresh — from top to bottom.
Kostadinov’s collaborations with ASICS were always known for their elite color blocking and the designer’s ability to take an archival model and add his own, fashion-conscious twist to the sneaker. The result was often a totally new model that had hints of recognizability to it. Therefore, it’s not without reason that Kostadinov and his team were revered by so many in the sneaker scene. With the Buglarian designer, ASICS had cornered a market and was doing something no one else was, better than anyone else could.
Now, as part of the ASICS mainline team, Kostadinov and his team — which includes twin sister-duo Laura And Deanna Fanning — are applying the same tactic to general release ASICS shoes, many of which could be argued are in need of a refresh.
As is the case sometimes with good footwear design, a lot of Kostadinov’s mainline work with ASICS has flown under the radar and perhaps gone underappreciated. Raf Simons’ Ozweego famously took a few seasons to catch on, and other sneakers have also had to wait for their spark of hype in the past. It seems Kostadinov’s work at ASICS is no different, however, if you ask us, there’s no reason to keep sleeping on the designs.
Not only has Kostadinov taken general release models and added a more fashion-conscious twist to them — examples include the GEL-1130 and GEL-Preleus — but the colorways he has applied to many of the models are objectively great. A lot of times, running and performance shoes come in either all-black, all-white, or a mishmash of bright colors. Not Kostadinov’s designs. His colorways feel much more measured and thought out, using tones that would normally be seen on high-end clothing or collaborative sneakers. A lot of his colorways lend themselves very well to the fall, as his muted grays, browns, and maroons give off earthy vibes that fit in well with a lot of current apparel and color trends.
At the moment, Kostadinov’s general release ASICS sneakers are a relative insider’s tip. Decent size runs are still available in most stores that stock them. If they sell out they don’t do so immediately, meaning it’s relatively easy to get your hands on a pair. Knowing how quickly trends and tastes in the sneaker world can change, however, it’s not a guarantee that it will stay that way — especially if Kostadinov and his team continue grinding out great sneakers.
Trust us on this one, you don’t want to be caught sleeping on Kiko Kostadinov’s ASICS masterpieces for too much longer.
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