ARTICLE BY Brendan Lawley
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Solebox Chats About New ASICS Gel Lyte Colab

Solebox has been German sneaker culture's ground zero for over a decade, the team's special releases with major brands have evaporated in eye blinks and been fawned over by collectors the world over. Now, they've got another one to add to the impressive colab canon. They've reunited with ASICS for another edition of the Gel Lyte III, this time taking inspiration from the Blue Carpenter Bee. Sneaker Freaker Germany's Pascal Prehn sat down for a slice of bee sting cake with the next-gen Solebox team and chatted about the new ASICS colab.

It´s finally happening – Solebox's Gel Lyte III is coming out! What was the initial story for the shoe?
The shoe is inspired by the xylocopa bombyla, aka the Blue Carpenter Bee. As always, we kept an eye to the details – besides the overall colour scheme, there are hidden details like the reflective underlays that represent the wings of the carpenter bee. We will also have a special box for a few pairs of our in-store release – watch out for them!

How was it to work on a project that was initially started by Hikmet, who has left Solebox now?
In this case the shoe was 100% complete already. So, we were in charge of the communication, special packaging, etc. I think with our last project that we launched with adidas, people might recognise that we have started to introduce the product in a different way than we have done before. We are very aware of our DNA and heritage, so we will continue this way. I think with the way we introduced our last projects to the market, you already got a small glimpse of the approach that the team is going to take.

The shoe looks much the same as Solebox's unreleased ASICS Gel Lyte 3 sample from 2012, do you think it will be as popular?
We hope so – you never know – but we are very happy with the final product, and after waiting so long we are pretty sure a lot of people out there are also looking forward to finally getting their hands on this beautiful pair.

After the great success of the 'Chasing the Sun' Gel Lyte 3 back in 2008, people were wondering why Solebox was not involved in the shoe's 25th anniversary. Why was that?
Actually, you have to ask somebody at ASICS about that [laughs]. But as we already had been working on this shoe for a longer period we wanted to focus 100% on this project to finally bring it to life.

Is it difficult to fulfil the expectations that people have on Solebox projects?
We think that nowadays, where you see a lot of collaborative product releases every weekend, it is definitely getting tougher to excite the day-one sneaker guys with something new, or something that hasn’t been done before. But, we wouldn’t be here if we didn't want to accept that challenge. We are currently working on a couple of exciting projects for 2017 and there are still a few more things to come for 2016. So, yes, we won't stop and are looking forward to the future!

The Solebox x ASICS Gel Lyte III 'Blue Carpenter Bee' will release at Solebox stores on April 30.

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