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ASICS Onitsuka Tiger Recognizes Last Year’s Mistake and Leans Heavy Into Fashion

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Source: Onitsuka Tiger Spring Summer 2018 Brand Campaign.

ASICS is a performance brand. At the core of Nike is Onitsuka Tiger from which Nike and ASICS was born. I know it seems odd to make this statement, but I’m establishing that the performance brands of ASICS and Nike had at their creation Onitsuka Tiger and the history of Tiger was performance. Confusing? Let me get to my point, everything performance becomes casual and fashion eventually; or sometimes it becomes fashion as soon as it is created.

Innovation in performance is innovation in fashion. Companies who decide to ride the trends by diving completely into fashion are making an error in movement. ASICS gets this, but last year they attempted to force a square into a circle. The brand dumped on the market Gel Knit and a host of shoes that rode the wave of knit performance sneakers. Those sneakers flopped because it attempted to follow the trend. That trend was a wave that had to be refined because the number of knit based shoes entering the market created “knit fatigue”. The shoes weren’t selling. The style around the shoes was absent and brands had to reevaluate and recreate.

ASICS went back to the drawing board in performance, but utilized their original brand to move towards the market in a way that speaks more to high fashion than it does sport. That move towards fashion has always been there in the international market, but the brand is making a real effort to distinguish it’s performance and fashion by delivering a collection through Tiger that is catwalk ready, retro and street inspired. ASICS is still delivering some shoes that are reaching for that lifestyle performance market, but if this Tiger collection is any indication the brand might just begin to focus on innovation and creativity as opposed to just doing what every brand is doing. If you haven’t seen the Summer collection here are a few pics. You can use the source link above to see more.