Epsilon Magazine


Lets talk about Solebox and Asics

Solebox announced a new collab with Asics. This time they got together with the Japanese retailer Atmos to join forces to create a Gel Lyte III. We already covered the information in our article here. Let us go deeper into the work between Solebox and Asics.

Hikmet Sugoer with Solebox was among the first two stores in Europe which did a collab with Asics. After Patta with the iconic Amsterdam inspired Gel Lyte III, Hikmet was second with his collaboration “The Sun”. Right after comes Michael Dupouy with the recently re-released Sold Out for Colette.

Hikmet's Gel Lyte III truly was something special. He’s famous for always thinking outside the box when he’s doing a collab. For this colorway, he came up with the idea of changing the color when the sneaker is exposed to UV rays. That means the tiger stripes, as well as the midsole, is able to change the color to violet if you’re outside. Beside this special feature, the sneaker offers a mesh toebox, some grey suede accents, and a violet leather lining. Another feature by Hikmet is the translucent outsole at the heel with “Solebox” written in it, which you can find on every Gel Lyte III done by him.

After the success of “The Sun”, Hikmet got a present from Asics. Not many people know that there is a GGB Gel Lyte III. Two samples of the New Balance 1500 GGB inspired colorway were produced. As you can see there is the translucent outsole as well.

Then it got quite around Solebox and Asics. Out of nowhere appeared six samples in 2012. Now we know they were samples of the “Blue Carpenter Bee”, which released four years later. The sample pack is split in two and consists two Gel Sagas, two Gel Lyte IIIs and two not known Onitsuka Tigers to me. One is held in black, the other in grey. The Gel Lyte IIIs once more feature the translucent outsole.

The Asics Gel Lyte III “Blue Carpenter Bee” finally released in 2016. The pair features a black nubuck leather and a blue microsuede lining. If you were able to buy them instore in Berlin or Munich you had the chance to get your hand at the special box which contained a glass of honey. At the time of the release Hikmet already separated with Solebox but the “Blue Carpenter Bee” still was one of his designs.

Right after the Gel Lyte III, Solebox released another Asics. It was a Gel Lyte Runner entitled with the name “Blue Carpenter Bee II”. Hikmet himself told he isn’t happy with the release of them. He left Solebox after the first sample was produced and they were not finished by someone else. Hikmet stated he wouldn’t have released them if he still was working at Solebox. The Gel Lyte Runner features a black plain leather toebox and grey parts at the midsection.

Now we’re in 2018 and the Solebox x Atmos Gel Lyte III will be released. I think the concept of the upcoming sneaker is solid. Atmos is well known for their camouflage sneakers and because of that, the white camo makes sense. To honor the ten year anniversary of Solebox they influenced some parts of “The Sun” into the collab. Besides the obvious violet parts at the sneaker there is the same material which changes its color to violet in daylight at the tiger stripes and at the eyes on the toebox. And of course, there is the same translucent part on the outsole once again. Two nice little features on first thought. But Hikmet isn’t with Solebox anymore, so why reusing his design? I think Solebox should evolve their own DNA for their collaborations. After the Saucony Shadow 5000 EVR in the “Purple Devil” colorway, Solebox used the second time an old colorway of Hikmet this year. A solid collab suddenly isn’t that solid anymore. After several years working with Asics, it’s time to make new steps “own” steps for Solebox, not recycle old designs and features. Solebox isn’t Hikmet anymore and Hikmet isn’t Solebox anymore, simple as that.

Let’s see what Solebox is doing next time if they’re working with Asics!