Asics & Ronnie Fieg: A Decade of Innovation

Last week Ronnie Fieg announced that this month he will release his 50th pair of Gel-Lyte III with Asics. The release marks a milestone in Fieg’s collaborative work with Asics, a decade since he put together his first CAD for the brand and nine years since the collaboration introduced its first sneakers to the world. Back then Ronnie Fieg was a relatively unknown name in the footwear industry working as the head buyer at David Z. Since then he has emerged as one of the industry’s most respected collaborative designers who has gone on to work with everyone from A Bathing Ape and Nike to adidas and New Balance.

Fieg’s rise from the unknown to master sneaker collaborator really all started through his work with Asics. Having worked his way up from stock boy to sales manager to manager to head buyer at NYC sneaker establishment David Z, Fieg began to develop relationships with important brand figures in the industry before the chance of a collaboration opened itself up in 2006. Asics offered Fieg the opportunity to unarchive any of their old silhouettes, and Fieg promptly reimagined the iconic Gel-Lyte III silhouette in three new styles, given the name “The 252 Pack” due to each being produced in quantities of 252. The Wall Street Journal picked up on the collaboration and placed the story on its front page, leading to every pair selling out within a matter of hours. Fieg has since continued to evolve the design of the Gel-Lyte III, releasing his 50th interpretation of the shoe later this year and revitalising the shoe to be once again one of Asics’ flagship silhouettes.

His collaboration with Asics opened up many avenues in footwear design for Fieg who has since gone on to work with brands ranging from Clarks and Saucony to Polo Ralph Lauren and Harris Tweed. Despite still being just 27 years old, Fieg’s footwear collaboration tally already well exceeds 50 designs, making him one of the most prolific sneaker collaborators ever. While hitting the front cover of the Wall Street Journal may stand out as a highlight in his career, Fieg arguably toppled it this September when he debuted a 90-look collection of his collaborations at New York Fashion Week. Featuring collaborations with the likes of A Bathing Ape, Nike, adidas and New Balance, Fieg’s dynamic and restless approach to design shows that collaborations and collaborators have a crucial part to play in the future of the footwear and fashion industries.

Shop Asics’ iconic Gel-Lyte III at AllSole >>

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert