In our latest collaboration with Asics, we’re bringing historical context to today’s excessive luxury culture. The shoe and its related collection, part of our 25th anniversary collaborative series, takes inspiration from the Japanese tuna, and curators of bespoke restaurant culture.
Similar to New England lobster, the Japanese tuna has transformed from disregarded to delicacy over the course of history. If not all out avoided, the fish, and its attributed metallic taste, was either heavily marinated in soy or buried in the ground for four days (a practice called “Shibi”) before eating.
However, in the 1970s, tastes shifted and the Bluefin became one of the world’s most sought-after fish. Prices, defined at Tokyo’s famed fish markets, skyrocketed as desire for tuna and Otoro exploded. By 2019, it had become astronomical — Kiyoshi Kimura, the “Tuna King” broke records when he paid $3.1 for a specimen. Prices at the fish market auctions are, of course, passed to diners. The allure of the Tuna’s extra-fatty belly, “Otoro,” makes it a must-have for those sushi-counter visitors that can afford it.
Now synonymous with luxury, the rich coloration of “Otoro” is replicated across our latest Gel Lyte 3 through use of pigskin suede in a beautiful range of pink hues. The tools of sushi, particularly the stunning knives, are referenced by 3M hits to the shoe and typical accompaniments, like wasabi, are referenced through the secondary lace.
“Our relationship with Asics has allowed some of our most unique storylines. With ‘Otoro,’ we’re able to relay an amazing story and do so with utmost attention to material and execution,” says Deon Point, Concepts’ Creative Director.
Consideration of the cultural impact of fine dining, and its parallels to contemporary Internet hype culture, inspire the “Four Days” apparel collection’s other reference points.
The color palettes and graphics of the “Four Days” apparel collection gives nods to sushi-counter practices across crewnecks, hoodies, shorts, sweatpants, socks and T-shirts. Wasabi, tuna and steel define the color schemes, while a new Concepts scrip logo draws inspiration from a guide that rates some of the top restaurants in the world.
Each garment is evidence of Concepts’ studied approach to fit and fabrication. The Concepts Icon hoodie, with a subtle drop shoulder in ode to ‘90s skate style, and sweatpants are built of 19.5oz cotton. T-shirts are made with a 10.5oz cotton body and contemporary relaxed fit. Nylon shorts, complete with a mesh liner, add versatility to the range.
“As we celebrate 25 years, being able to extend our collaborative storytelling through our in-house apparel line continues to present progressive opportunity to dig deeper into the cultural touch points that drive us,” says Point. “Bringing a theme full-circle is always our aim. Now, we’re able to really expand that vision.”
The Concepts x GEL-LYTE™ III OG “Otoro” & “Four Days” Collection releases exclusively on June 11th at 11am via cncpts.com and at Concepts Boston, Concepts NYC and Concepts Dubai.
Concepts’ Boston store is located at 18 Newbury Street in Boston’s Back Bay. Concepts’ New York store is located at 99 University Place in Manhattan’s Union Square.