“ASICS Tiger™ VOICE” features people who continue to express themselves with the ASICS Tiger™ brand, discussing the past, present and future of the brand from their unique perspectives.
In this eighth issue, we have Mr. Michael Dupouy, the founder of "ALL GONE", archive bibles of the street culture. With his intimate knowledge of global street culture, he shares his interpretation of the uniqueness of the ASICS Tiger™ brand.
—Please tell us how you came to launch "ALL GONE".
I started as a journalist years ago when no one was even talking about the Internet. But years after, people kept saying that the web would kill paper at some point and books and magazines would disappear.
I didn’t like that idea and wanted to make a collector print medium, quality books that people will collect years after years. When I came up with an idea for "ALL GONE" 11 years ago, I was thinking about an item made to remember the past and pay homage to the finest of street culture.
I think the web is a fantastic tool to promote present and future, but not very useful when it comes to reflecting the past. That’s why I decided to make "ALL GONE", documenting the best products and turning the book into a collectible itself.
—Seen from Paris where you're based, how does Tokyo's street fashion look to you?
Japanese street fashion is still my favorite. Since the 90s to now, I've been feeling something different about Tokyo, without limits. People live in peace in the streets and no one really judges the way people dress.
The freedom of wearing anything, anytime, with no fear of judgments is very important. In Paris, people dress crazy mostly when it’s fashion week. The eccentricity is not as always present as in Tokyo’s streets, for example.
Also, many people in Japan have a wonderful knowledge of the brand's history, legacy, their products, etc. I totally respect that and that’s why I have a true fascination for Japan.
—Could you tell us how you came to discover the ASICS Tiger™ brand?
I have an impression that there's something Japan-like or Tokyo-like about the ASICS Tiger™ brand. I think it was in the middle of the 90’s. The launch of GEL-KAYANO TRAINER as running shoes was a shock to me. I also remember it being the most popular item in the market back then.
My impression about the brand is still the same - very good! 2015 was a great celebration of the GEL-LYTE III anniversary.
I'm amazed that it has accomplished great things in the past years while keeping its heritage as a sports equipment brand.
—What is the most memorable model among the past ASICS Tiger™ brand shoes?
The two that impressed me the most were the Patta GEL-LYTE III from June 2007 and the La MJC GEL- LYTE III released in December 2008 exclusively for Colette.
I would love to reissue the GEL-LYTE III that I did in 2008 with a few modern updates because people are asking me nonstop to make it again since the release. 100 pairs were not enough.
—How do you foresee the upcoming market trends?
Technology and innovation meet retro－I think this trend is just going to be bigger and bigger. As for the ASICS Tiger™ brand, cutting-edge innovations are brought into even classic shoes and I will keep paying attention to this brand in that sense.
The ASICS Tiger™ brand is great as is. Stay yourself! Stay authentic. Stay original.