Asics is celebrating the 100th birthday of its founder with a special collection — KO100 — that is centered around sunflowers.
The limited-edition apparel and footwear features a bright red, orange and yellow sunflower pattern that is intended to speak to founder Kihachiro Onitsuka’s positive outlook on life and his love of artist Vincent van Gogh.
Onitsuka, who was born on May 29, 1918 and died on Sept. 29, 2007, founded Asics in 1949 in an effort to build health and happiness in both mind and body, a mission that the company follows to this day.
As part of the initiative, $10 from the sale of every KO100 product will go to Right to Play, an organization that uses sport and exercise to improve the lives of children in deprived communities around the world. In this case, the donation will go toward sponsoring one child in Lebanon to play sports for 10 weeks.
“Kihachiro Onitsuka built Asics because he wanted to help people develop a healthy and active lifestyle and ultimately, be happier,” said Motoi Oyama, chief executive officer of Asics Corp. “Much like sunflowers, he always headed toward the light and this was reflected in his personality and management style.
“These limited-edition products and the partnership with Right to Play are our way of celebrating his vision and passion on what would have been his 100th birthday,” Oyama continued. “We also want to remind people that as modern life gets busier and busier, Kihachiro Onitsuka’s desire to create sound minds and bodies has never been more important — both for individuals and society as a whole.”
The collection encompasses the Asics Gel-Quantum 360 shoe, which will retail for $170; the Asics Tiger Gel-Mai, which will sell for $140; the Onitsuka Tiger Corsair for $120, as well as a unisex set of a short-sleeve T-shirt and jersey pant. The apparel is made from 100 percent recycled materials and features a trio of logos: Asics, Asics Tiger and Onitsuka Tiger, and there’s an embroidered gold sunflower on the T-shirt. The pants will retail for $100 and the T for $150.
All products from the collection will be available in-store and on the Asics e-commerce site beginning on May 29.