How to upgrade your sneaker game

In a conceptual pop-up in fashionable Le Marais, during Paris Fashion Week, Asics launches the sneakerhead’s dream

At a glance

  • Guests crowded the outdoor space as DJs took centerstage to celebrate the brand’s mission of promoting anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to ‘a sound mind in a sound body.’

Images by Stephane Sby Balmy and the author


SOUND MIND, SOUND BODY 3537 teams up with ASICS during Fête de la Musique to share the transformative power of music and sound in connecting the body and mind

In an era that has popularized streetwear, the casual-comfort chic style continues to hold its place at the forefront of fashion. The demand for the best sneakers is at an all-time high and, lately, the comeback of the Y2K aesthetic has been all the rage in fashion.


Asics has initially cemented its name in this avenue with its famous Gel Kayano sneaker. And just recently, during Paris Fashion Week, the brand’s sport style section revived an archived design from the previous decade with the re-release of the GT-2160 sneaker. In perfect timing with the menswear spring/summer designer presentations in Paris and Fête de la Musique, the new and improved GT-2160 sneaker has been launched showcasing a variety of designs across four collaborations with different brands and designers—Cecilie Bahnsen, Dime, HAL Studios, and Airei.

The launch event was held on June 21 at 35/37 Rue des Francs-Bourgeois within Le Marais in Paris. Guests crowded the outdoor space as DJs took centerstage to celebrate the brand’s mission of promoting anima sana in corpore sano, which translates to “a sound mind in a sound body.”

The experience continued indoors and into the basement, as visitors were invited to sit in a darkened room and immerse themselves in an audio-visual escapade to promote the elevation of their mindset. This digital installation was provided by the digital art studio ExperiensS for Asics in collaboration with Monom Studios.

At 11 a.m. on June 22, the pop-up officially opened its doors to customers eager to get their hands on the 2023 GT-2160 sneaker. Lined up patiently even amid the summer rain, sneakerheads stood firm on their plan of copping themselves a pair as the pop-up would only stay open until 7 p.m. of the following day.

What makes these collaborations so special anyway, and why are these brands important to keep an eye on?

ALL ABOUT STYLE AND COMFORT Danish womenswear designer Cecilie Bahnsen focuses on creating luxury clothing with a relaxed, timeless style

Cecilie Bahnsen is a Danish designer who focuses primarily on womenswear. Her designs very clearly allude to the very definition of feminine luxury. Creatively, she tends to draw inspiration from like-minded individuals and typically takes from what she witnesses firsthand in the studio. For this collection, she worked hand-in-hand with photographer Takashi Homma. Set in Tokyo at twilight, the two colorways of this release feature muted monotones, bringing to life the noir feeling of the atmosphere after dark. Putting a sporty twist on the dainty Mary Jane shoe, the Asics SportStyle GT-2160 x Cecile Bahnsen allows its wearer to dress with the utmost versatility. This pair in whichever color goes for around ₱14,290.

ASICS SportStyle GT-2160 x Cecilie Bahnsen

A growing brand whose roots lie in Montreal, Canada, Dime has quickly found its place in the fashion scene by incorporating skateboarding into clothing in a “playful and humor-filled graphic-design language.” As seen in the pop-up, the wavy floor pays homage to the brand’s identity, recalling the slopes in skate spots. The Asics SportStyle GT-2160 x Dime goes for €160 or around ₱9,690.

Already on their third partnership with Asics, HAL Studios presents the GEL-1130 MK III “Glacier,” which, like the previous installments, draws inspiration from natural elements. From the sandy texture of snow to the mountain-like topography of ice formations, the concept of this pair, as its name suggests, takes heavily from the glacier. As a brand whose creative capacity extends through aspects of time, place, music, art, technology, and the natural world, HAL Studios showcases this inspiration not just through the shoe’s design, but also through the pop-up display of the sneaker suspended in a freezer. The Asics SportStyle GEL-1130 x HAL Studios goes for roughly ₱9,990.

ASICS SportStyle GT-2160 x DIME

Airei is a Los Angeles-based brand that has collaborated with Asics on the same GT-2160 sneaker, adding an artistic twist that makes heads tilt not in confusion but in awe. Its take on the sneaker has the shoes covered almost entirely in plaster, urging the wearer to embark on his journey to break through, as the plaster comes off slowly with use. Each pair was crafted with great attention to detail and with the intention of making it impossible to duplicate.

Furthermore, every purchase of the Asics GT-2160 Crafts for Mind by Airei will add up to a good cause, as Asics SportsStyle and Airei will dedicate proceeds from the sales of this collaboration to the Right To Play organization. The pair goes for around €180, about ₱10,900.

Check out and follow @asicsph & @asics_sportstyle_ph on Instagram for updates.