Philadelphia's finest footwear purveyors UBIQ have forged a memorable Gel Lyte V with the Midnight Bloom, and it's prepped to drop this weekend in Philly before a wider global roll-out. Sneaker Freaker Germany sat down with UBIQ's brand manager Paul Lee to talk about how it all came together...
SF: UBIQ has been in the business for quite some time now. Please tell us a bit about your colab history.
Paul: On the shoe side, we've worked with Reebok, Puma and other brands. Most recently, we've released colabs with New Balance last year, like the UBIQ x NB 574 'Made in USA' and the UBIQ x NB 1600 'The Benjamin'. We have also released a Vans colab, it was the UBIQ x Vans 'Three Tides' Era LX and SK8 Hi. Then there's the UBIQ x Saucony Grid 9000 'Dirty Martini', and now it's the UBIQ x Asics GLV 'Midnight Bloom'.
The last one was about alcohol, this one is about flowers and nature. What was your inspiration to create such a unique colourway?
Paul: We wanted to work on a shoe that represented spring, using bright colors but at the same time keeping it very clean. When you think of spring, you think of flowers blooming, so that was the idea. ASICS always does a great job of making sure the colours on the shoe stand out, so it was great. The colours we chose for the Gel Lyte V 'Midnight Bloom' have never been used before so we took a chance and it all worked.
Do you think that a good story behind a shoe sells better?
Paul: Yes, absolutely. A good story helps put everything together. When you design or select colours for a shoe, you have to have some kind of concept and idea, which all come from a story. A good story with an interesting background makes a shoe more desirable and it also creates a connection with consumers and followers.
What was the most difficult part to make the story happening on the GLV?
Paul: The Gel Lyte V is such an amazing shoe to work on and almost any colour looks good on the shoe, so narrowing down the concept and story was very difficult. In the end, my team and I made it happen.
Why did you choose the GLV?
Paul: Anyone who's ever picked up a pair of Gel Lyte Vs have always instantly fallen in love with them. It's a fast looking shoe with the right retro tech look and feel. I love the mono stretch collar and the inner sock fit … it's a pure performance shoe but it looks great on feet, on and off the track. I've always been a fan of 90s runners and the Gel Lyte V is definitely one of them.
How many samples did it take to make this shoe happen?
Paul: The ASICS team did an amazing job and working with them is always a pleasure. They got everything right pretty quickly. My team and I made some changes so it took only two samples to get the shoe finalised.
What would be the shoe you would like to work on in the future?
There's too many to choose from … I absolutely love shoes and I want to work on a project with so many brands. This is a tough one … you'll have to get back to me on this one.