The Hysteric Glamour x Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-Quantum Lylia Is the Best Women’s Release of 2022
A lot has happened in the sneakerspace in 2022, and for me, a women’s Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS collaboration was the icing on the cake. Of course, the past year or so has seen stacks of Kiko-curated ASICS being released, with official colabs remaining scarce – then along came the Hysteric Glamour x Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-Quantum Lylia. To cop a pair, I knew I was going to have to put in the hard yards to actually score – along with a solid chunk of money. With the release over and the pairs in my hands, I can’t deny they tick a number of important boxes, making them my pick for the best women’s release of the year. Here’s why.
Expect the Unexpected
Kiko Kostadinov’s team is busy at work designing curated (but not officially collaborative) pairs of ASICS – and this is a very good thing. While it may seem like this arrangement would have watered down the clout of owning a pair of Kiko x ASICS, that actually hasn’t been the case. If anything, it has resulted in more people having good-looking sneakers to wear in their daily rotations. In addition to this observation, it seems that actual Kiko x ASICS collaborations are just as hyped as ever. Case in point: the Hysteric Glamour x Kiko Kostadinov x ASICS GEL-Quantum Lylia – which sold out on multiple platforms within minutes.
No one saw the Lylias coming, but a pleasant sneaker surprise that’s shrouded in mystery is always welcome, especially if it pops out of the blue without flashing lights and hullabaloo. Totally unannounced and not a silhouette name in sight upon their first reveal, there were a few things that could be deduced from that initial post. First of all, the shoes were a hybrid of ASICS models, and also, it was a collaboration with cult Japanese fashion label Hysteric Glamour.
Something Old, Something New
The majority of this year has been dotted with retros, bringbacks and major anniversary celebrations. Half the time, it feels like something entirely new is overlooked because it lacks storytelling, clout and celebrity co-sign. Not veering away from this sentiment far at all, for their newest collaboration, the brands decided to dip into the ASICS archive to give the people (including myself) what they want. Something that is almost entirely new while still having ties to the past. A hybrid of sorts, the ASICS GEL-Quantum Lylia is a collage of a number of archival ASICS silhouettes melded together to create a never-before-seen fusion. To bring it to life, they pulled the upper from the GEL-AURANIA, specifically the spiralling ASICS logo, lacing system from the SKYSENSOR SLASH JJ and joyously squishy (and glittery!) gel outsoles from the GEL-QUANTUM LEVITRACK.
The result? Classic Kiko Kostadinov design acumen at play, creating a palatable balance between something that looks like it’s both back from the future while, at the same time, reminiscent of shoes from yesteryear. And, of course, the GEL-Quantum Lylia slots in perfectly within a wardrobe full of vintage Hysteric Glamour, as they were intended. In an interview with DAZED, co-director of Kiko Kostadinov, Deanna Fanning, said of the silhouette, ‘It’s very bricolage. The detailing is borrowed from about five different shoes. We took Hysteric’s principle of borrowing from different companies in the world and making something your own.’
Reign of the Anti-Sneaker
Not too long ago, the sneakerspace witnessed the rise of the mule, otherwise known as the mulement, whereby participants switched out their regular pairs of sneakers for slip-on style shoes like Birkenstocks, Merrel Hydro Mocs, Reebok Beatniks and the like. Mules have always featured in luxury fashion collections, but it’s likely that global lockdowns saw droves of people opting for something a little more cosy and house-friendly back in 2020. Today, the fad still hasn’t faded into obscurity, and it feels like a period of natural succession that the anti-sneaker trend has ruled 2022.
Alongside all of this has been another long-running, fashion-meets-sneaker-adjacent micro-trend: the Mary Jane. Officially coined in 1904, the style is sleek and easy to wear, making it a go-to choice for a select few. It’s clear that the style will also be a mainstay in the coming years as fashion houses from Dior to Prada have all included it in their 2023 collections, indicating that its popularity could also continue to increase.
As an avid lover of both the Mary Jane and ASICS sneakers, the addition of the GEL-Aurania lacing system gives the GEL-Quantum Lylia Mary Jane tooling of sorts, with added technical elements as a bonus.
I’ve finally found the two-in-one I always needed, and choosing shoes for an outfit has never been easier.