There are universally accepted pairings that just make sense: coffee and chocolate, Muiccia Prada and Raf Simons, blue denim jeans and a white t-shirt. Like running into an old friend, there’s a cosmic comfort to the union – the knowledge that they were always, somehow, destined to co-exist. On the other hand, unexpected pairings (when successfully executed) elicit a rarer kind of thrill – a flash of perplexity that gives way to intrigue and, eventually, fandom (think: the unforeseen popularity of Sting and Shaggy’s Grammy award-winning reggae album “44/876”).
The collaboration between the athletic brand ASICS and the Danish high fashion designer Cecilie Bahnsen is the latter: initially unpredictable, yet deeply covetable. Beloved for her left-of-centre yet wearable take on femininity, Bahnesn’s collections are shaped predominantly by voluminous dresses and ruffled accessories, including flower-strewn neoprene and rubber sneakers. The ASICS mash-up – a relationship the brands have cultivated since models traipsed down the runway un upcycled ASICS for Bahnsen’s spring summer 2023 season – pushes the intricate aesthetic into new and exciting territory, with the release of ASICS’ iconic GT-2160TM model.
An expression of everyday couture, movement, and comfort, the Cecilie Bahnsen x ASICS collection fuses Bahnsen’s confectionary DNA and ASICS’s technical prowess for a modern day Mary Jane hybrid model. Here, florals meet transparent panels and velcro straps for a shoe that looks as at-home paired with a frothy dress as it does with athleisure wear.
To unveil this special project, Bahnsen tapped a long-time creative partner, the Japanese photographer Takashi Homma, to create a visual showcase. First presented in a gallery-style format during an exclusive pop-up event during Paris Fashion Week, attendees viewed the larger-than-life prints of Takashi Homma’s artistic images that paid homage to artistry behind each meticulously crafted shoe. The GT-2160TM sneakers, available in two colorways (black and white) and retailing at $300 AUD, were showcased on elegant plinths in a raw space, creating a striking contrast, seamlessly merging Bahnsen’s feminine universe with ASICS’s technical appeal.
“Building upon an ongoing partnership with ASICS, this new collaboration continues to push the boundaries of Cecilie Bahnsen’s modern vision of femininity, interpreted through the lens of movement, motion, and mindfulness,” says Bahnsen. “Finding harmony between intricate couture detailing and hyper-feminine embellishments with ASICS’ technical and functional universe is an exciting design challenge that we welcome with each collaboration.”