Asics America is partnering with Foot Locker for the launch of its newest sneaker, a technical model with a streetwear aesthetic that was inspired by its latest ambassador, DJ, producer and influencer Steve Aoki.
The Hypergel-Kenzen x Aoki, a slip-on shoe that will launch at Foot Locker stores exclusively Tuesday, incorporates the brand’s proprietary Gel technology through beads integrated into the midsole for comfort and endurance.
“Hypergel is a new look for Asics and we are proud to introduce a model that balances a unique aesthetic design with the performance technology for our consumers that are constantly on the move,” said Gene McCarthy, president and chief executive officer of Asics America Corp. “We are thrilled to launch this new franchise with our partners at Foot Locker, Inc. and Steve Aoki, who lives each day to the fullest, in constant motion with purpose and determination.”
Jed Berger, chief marketing officer for Foot Locker North America, said that its customers are “looking for a hybrid of performance technology fused with an awesome design. Asics is synonymous with their great Gel technology and design and the Hypergel is a great addition to both of our footwear portfolios. We look forward to introducing it to our consumers across the Foot Locker, Inc. family of brands.”
To unveil the shoe, the companies unleashed a marketing campaign featuring Aoki in Foot Locker stores nationwide starting today. The initiative also includes a “Steve in 24” digital content series that showcases Aoki’s non-stop movement over a 24-hour period. Additionally, Asics unveiled a pop-up shop Monday morning at the Coffee Shop on Union Square West in New York City that will be open for one day only. At 8:00 p.m. tonight, the shop will host an Aoki appearance for ticketed guests. Visitors to the shop can pre-order the shoes.
Aoki fronted the opening of the pop-up Monday morning, unveiling the video that shows him working out during his grueling 32-city tour over a 36-day period. “We call it Aoki boot camp,” he said, adding that in every town, the first thing he does is search out a gym for a high-intensity workout. And for the past six months, he’s been wearing the Hypergel. “I don’t sleep in them, but I could, they’re pretty comfortable,” he said.
Aoki began partnering with the brand last fall as the company sought to heighten its cool quotient and attract more young people. He plays over 250 shows a year in his capacity of a DJ, has his own streetwear fashion collection named Dim Mak — named after his Los Angeles-based record label — and is also a co-owner and collaborator with Vision Street Wear.
Starting March 30, the shoe will be available at all Asics locations as well. It retails for $130.