ASICS Recreated Shigeyuki Mitsui’s GEL-Lyte III Design Studio

ASICS may not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of Paris Fashion Week, but the brand recently stole the spotlight in the French capital with one of the more unique displays around: a faithful recreation of GEL-Lyte III designer Shigeyuki Mitsui’s studio from 1990.

The display showed off the iconic split-tongued runner’s upcoming looks for 2020 and documented the design process behind the silhouette as ASICS celebrate the 30-year anniversary of the kicks. 2020 will also be Mitsui-San’s final year at ASICS and the beloved design chief was on hand for a turn on his old stomping grounds. Best of all, though? Attendees each received a sketch of the GEL-Lyte III, which was hand-drawn, signed, and crumpled up by Mitsui-San himself.

‘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,’ said Mitsui-San, reflecting on the shoe. ‘I was always a trouble maker. During the design process, I didn’t like any of the colours that were available to me, so I decided to hand-make my own colours. At first the development team didn’t want to go ahead with my colours. They didn’t expect them to work; they were too exotic for us. It took some convincing but we made it happen.’

ASICS even included a couple of easter eggs: an 8bit video game allowed players to roam through Mitsui-San’s old office and collect GEL-Lyte III colourways while a voicemail on the desk’s phone offered a sneak peek at what’s to come from future GEL-Lytes.

Take a look at the exhibition above and stay tuned for tons of GEL-Lyte III news in the coming months!