“ASICS Tiger VOICE” introduces figures who continue to express themselves with the ASICS TigerTM brand and their unique views on the past, present, and future of ASICS Tiger.
In the fourth issue we have Mr. Ricardo Nunes, the head of the SneakersBR, a sneaker website in Brazil. As a leader of Brazilian sneaker culture, he talks about the originality of the ASICS Tiger brand.
—Could you tell us how you encountered ASICS Tiger?
My first ASICS Tiger shoe was the GEL-LYTE III 2008/09 general model that ASICS Brazil sent to me. Next, I had the Alvin Purple thanks to my friend Woody from Sneaker Freaker. These shoes are still my favorites even today, six years later.
I knew ASICS performance shoes. I also knew the Onitsuka Tiger® brand very well. But the sophisticated use of colors and materials in ASICS Tiger shoes really suited my taste, since I’ve been a big fan of retro runners. As soon as I saw them, I became fascinated with the history of innovation of ASICS Tiger, but it was only when I put on my first GEL-LYTE III pair that I realized how great (comfortable yet still innovative) these shoes were.
—What is your favorite model among the ASICS Tiger styles?
I love the comfort of the GEL-LYTE V, but my favorite model is definitely the GEL-LYTE III. At first people were kind of shocked by the split tongue on GEL-LYTE IIl (lol). My friends are all sneakerheads and they seemed to like the Collaboration series and special colorways. When I started wearing ASICS Tiger shoes, everybody commented on them.
ASICS Tiger has a rich history in innovation and technology that continues even today. I think the GEL® technology is decisively a key point, but other than this, for example, its enthusiasm to go for comfort through the shape and material resonates with those who are passionate about sporty shoes or lifestyle shoes.
—Could you tell me about the sneaker market in Brazil?
The sneaker market in Brazil has a short history and it has been only nine years since SneakersBR was born, but the market has experienced a boost in these few years. In the past, Brazilian sneakerheads tended to be attracted by performance models or visible technology. They used to wear performance models not only to do exercise, but also to go to a club. You can say now that this was crazy.
This was why the first thing we kept in mind was to convey the differences among performance models, lifestyle models, and the classics in an easily understandable way. Now, we finally see growth in understanding with young people valuing more the shoes they wear and with a broader range of people becoming familiar with sneaker culture, including those who are sensitive to the latest trends, sneaker connoisseurs, and those who are hooked on vintage products.
—What impression do sneakerheads in Brazil have of ASICS Tiger?
Sneaker-loving consumers are fond of product stories and the cool Collaboration items. They are starting to link ASICS Tiger with ASICS performance shoes, which have already been popular, and realizing ASICS Tiger is an alternative lifestyle brand that is both sporty and marvelously stylish. What is great about ASICS Tiger is the quality of materials and execution above anything else. It is true especially in the Collaboration series.
Freshness inspired by the vintage
—What do you expect from ASICS Tiger?
I want to see more obscure models to be revived, but I also would love to see some freshness added to the mix, not just maintaining a retro feeling: some new silhouettes inspired by the vintage or contemporary styles.
ASICS Tiger is a brand that respects the past tradition, but I want it to help us build the future. Of course, its collaboration with a Brazilian brand would be very welcome. I want to see it in the near future. Why not?