Left to Right: Jeffrey Wong, General Manager of ASICS China, Hilda Chan, Managing Director of ASICS Greater China and Seiji Hori, Marketing General Manager, Global Lifestyle Division of ASICS Corporation attended the ribbon cutting ceremony SOURCE
Sneakerheads, it’s a loaded term. In the US where sneaker culture originated on the back of Hip-Hop, it’s a term that in many ways has a negative connotation. Sneakerheads are a group of kids who only buy hyped sneakers and believe that their influence is what keeps the sneaker industry rolling.
The reality is a sneakerhead, like people who like Hip-Hop, is more than what most people think of when they hear the word. A sneakerhead is a person who admires a nice pair of kicks. You don’t have to be a collector and you don’t have to sit on websites discussing colorways. Every person who likes sneakers is a sneakerhead in my opinion.
This is kind of the way ASICS is approaching the opening of their latest store in Shanghai. Their grand opening was a celebration of youth/pop culture shaped by influencers and by ASICS understanding that content and cool are required for a store to successfully operate. A store like this would be difficult to open in the US as the echo chamber of sneakerheads in the US would probably ignore an ASICS store in lieu of an adidas or Jordan Brand shop. The diversity in footwear has literally left brands like Diadora and ellesse on the cutting room floor as discount models.
ASICS has some stature in the US, but only as a running shoe model and only in collaborations.
As stores begin to shift towards DTC and build their e-commerce platforms abroad it will be interesting to see how hard brands like ASICS push into the US market which is very hard to crack.
Use the source link to read more about this new opening.