Following on from the ASICS X Vivienne Westwood GEL-KAYANO 27 LTX, launched in March, the second and final instalment of the collaboration between the two brands this year sees the launch of the ASICS X Vivienne Westwood GEL-KAYANO 27 DE. The new trainer will be available in 2 colourways from ASICS and Vivienne Westwood stores, as well as online.
First launched in 1993, the GEL-KAYANO represented ASICS' embrace of the 90s trend for bulky, performance trainers with highly visible technical innovations. The shoe’s original designer, Toshikazu Kayano, was inspired by the stag beetle, and created a shoe that — like the insect — wore its armour (in this case elements like impact-dampening gel, mesh panels and an ASICS-branded skeleton) on full view.
The collaboration references the GEL-KAYANO'S heritage via exposed layers and an 'unfinished' construction on the upper shoe, a move which also ties into Vivienne Westwood’s history of DIY and deconstructed design. The GEL-KAYANO 27 DE’s upper is made of ripstop fabric, traditionally used by the military for its strength and durability, with the utilitarian material giving a raw, textural quality to the design.
2021 marks the third year of collaboration between Vivienne Westwood and the venerable running shoe and athletic footwear brand, founded in 1949 by Kihachiro Onitsuka. Previous drops have included Westwood-reimagined takes on the GEL-MAI, the GELSAGA and HyperGEL-LYTE in 2019, and a pair of super-clean monochrome GEL-KAYANO 26 variants last year.
The launch of the ASICS X Vivienne Westwood GEL-KAYANO 27 DE is celebrated with a new campaign video by director and choreographer Holly Blakey. "I really wanted to capture the playfulness and colour of the high-performance collection, imagine the terrains in which they could operate, exaggerate and find the mischief I see so intrinsic to Westwood’s world with our film," Blakey explains.