by Stephen Garner
AsicsTiger, the Japanese lifestyle brand and division of Asics, celebrated the opening of its first store outside of Asia on Thursday, November 2, by debuting its exclusive collaboration with Tokyo-based artist Sneakerwolf. The store, located at 276 Lafayette Street in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City, was decorated with Japanese lanterns taking over the storefront. Sounds were provided by SOSUPERSAM, while sushi and other Japanese appetizers were provided by TIC Restaurant Group.

“My artwork is always a mixture of street culture and Japanese traditional art,” said Sneakerwolf. “I am thrilled that I could collaborate at a time when the Japanese brand, AsicsTiger, opens the first concept store in New York, the origin of street art such as graffiti.  It is an honor to be a part of such a historic opportunity which has the same theme as my art philosophy.”

“We’re honored to be finally posting up in New York,” commented Colin Brickley, director of demand creation, Asics USA. “It’s been a long time coming and we are hoping to spread our roots and get ingrained into the downtown street culture. There’s no better place than Lafayette Street, it’s in one of the most iconic neighborhoods in the world.”

Ryoji Shoda, senior general manager of global lifestyle division, Asics, added: “Our goal is to educate the U.S. consumers about AsicsTiger and the evolution of the Japanese brand. The sneaker culture was huge in the 90s and we are seeing its resurgence. AsicsTiger propelled the hype and fueled its energy, especially since the Gel Lyte series was widely popular amongst the youth. We have big things coming up and it only makes sense that we continue our growth and maintain our energy in the heart and the hub of the street and sneaker culture.”