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Respecting Japanese Culture for Asics

Transformation of Footlocker flagship London store for Asics launch


THE CHALLENGE: We were delighted to be working with Octagon, one of Europe’s leading sports and entertainment marketing agencies, to deliver an event for sportswear giant Asics to launch its latest range of footwear.

We were tasked with creating an immersive space at Foot Locker’s flagship London store, in Marble Arch, for the launch of the new HyperGEL-LYTE and HyperGEL-KAN footwear ranges, which are the result of 12 months of collaboration between the sports brand and creative agency Visionarism.

The new shoes, which were inspired by the traditional Japanese ‘Sumi stroke’ art technique, were created by Asics designers Milton Cato and Hiroyuki Ogi, in partnership with Visionarism’s Thierry Tek and Ste Wing.

At the event, shoe-mad DJ Kisk Kash, who has a £250,000 collection of more than 2,000 pairs of classic trainers, hosted a Q+A panel with the four designers, who discussed their design philosophy and the creative journey behind the designs for the new range.

Guests were also treated to a sneak peek of the new range, in a showcase area that was decked out in branding that reflected the strong black, white and red visuals of the shoes’ design.

INSPIRING THE AUDIENCE: Our challenge was to convert the basement retail space into an inspirational events venue for the evening drinks reception, film screening and panel sessions. The retail shelving units were transformed into large format graphics prints and lightboxes to exhibit the strong photographic imagery that influenced the design. The Japanese theme was subtly introduced through bespoke built bamboo props, spray painted plants in black and red, and ink based props representing the sumi stroke, a feature in the footwear design. A large 95” LCD screen was installed for showcasing the film produced about the trainers and bench furniture provided for audience seating.

Due to space limitations within the store, we utilised an iPad to run the audio for the show, allowing us to hide the control position behind panel masking in the store.

The whole environment was enhanced with lighting, with spotlights to the exhibits, branding and imagery, and LED up-lighting to walls and pillars. The stage space was spot lit for presentation.

As we were working in a live retail environment, it was important to ensure the store could operate ‘business as usual’ while we were onsite – we were able to utilise delivery and access corridors at the back of the building to avoid any disruption on the shop floor.

Our 20-strong team started the install at 4pm, the event ran between 9pm and 11:30pm, and we were offsite by 1.30am, having restored it to its former state, so it could open as usual the following morning.