Takahiro Miyashita, founder of his eponymous TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist. brand, loves The Beatles. I mean, Miyashita is really just a fan of rock music in general, from the British invasion to the birth of shoegaze to Boris' sludge metal, but he really likes The Beatles. So much so that his debut collaboration with Japanese sportswear brand ASICS is a pair of warped Beatles boots.
And, again, I'll qualify myself: the Chelsea boot isn't just a shoe worn by John, Paul, George, and Ringo, but a silhouette preferred by basically everyone making rock n' roll in the '60s in Britain. Chelsea ain't in the name for nothing.
Anyways, Miyashita has done his own footwear for a while and enjoys the occasional sneaker collab — The Soloist has dropped Converse, Salomon sneakers, and Suicoke toe shoes in the past — but he's never really delved into proper running shoes.
This partnership with ASICS is Miyashita dipping his metaphorical toe into the realm of high-tech trainers.
It's about as advanced as anything bearing The Soloist's name, too, with a smooth leather upper fitted with elastic gore panels for easy access and the sole unit of a GEL-Quantum 360 V11 giving the shoe maximum cushioning and response (suitably, The Soloist's design is called "GEL-Quantum 360 THE CHELSEA").
Available October 14 for ¥36,300 (about $250), I don't see this shoe making much of a splash overseas. Not because THE CHELSEA isn't good — Miyashita is nearly always on-point — but because it's just so directional that it demands a knowing eye to make it work.
In that way, this ASICS shoe ain't so different from The Soloist's mainline clothing collection, which only rarely includes anything approachable besides T-shirts and sweaters.
And why not? It's great that designers like Takahiro Miyashita exist, unwilling to compromise their vision for the sake of pleasing a wider crowd. Either you get it or you don't, just like Beatlemania.