London based brand ROKH has reworked the GEL-VENTURE™ 7 and GEL-KAYANO™ 5 360 sneakers using the designer’s signature hand crafting technique. For this project designer Rok Hwang was deeply inspired by ASICS’ technology and intelligent approach of construction, not compromising in material and using the most innovative ways to construct quality products.  Known for his custom creation on each individual style and item with a focus on artisanal craft - giving a unique touch and reconstruction on every element of creation.


Each sneaker was hand crafted using multiple mountain rope knotting techniques. The laces were custom crafted by mixing reflection tape and fluorescent yarn : weaving one pair of yarn into a lace takes 48 Hours and crafting one pair of sneakers takes 12 Hours. The level of intense study and experimental craftsmanship is boldly mixed into this product. We caught up briefly with Hwang to ask some key thoughts about this project.


Q. What attracted you to customize the GEL-VENTURE™ 7 and GEL-KAYANO™ 5 360 models for this project?

A. “’ASICS philosophy and technical advanced approach really inspired me to work on the idea of customisation but in particular the GEL-VENTURE™ 7 and GEL-KAYANO™ 5 360 shoe  models. Both models have the classic feature of the ASICS upper sole but with a completely different finishing. I wanted to work with the idea of reconstructing the upper sole by weaving different knots and having new graphics. GEL-VENTURE™ 7 has a hard and water-resistant finish and GEL-KAYANO™ 5 360 also has a hard leather part so this was interesting to mix with soft laces on top - giving a contrast of hardness and softness. Mixing technically advanced shoes/sneakers with artisanal crafting.’’ 

Q. How does your signature hand crafting impact other areas of your life, such as your creativity and your headspace?

A.Fundamentally, crafting and art is part of the ROKH universe. I believe in the element of crafting and creating something with one's hand sends a personal message to customers and viewers. It is a timeless message and statement. 

Q. How did you come to develop your crafting techniques and evolve them to work on sneakers?

A. This knotting and weaving technique is a signature detail from our collection. I was very inspired by hiking and mountain climbing so I started by collecting climbing ropes and gears and started weaving them into garments. Naturally, we wanted to take this idea and develop it together with ASICS.

Q. When thinking about your seasonal collection, how do you select a great pair of sneakers to fit with your designs?

A. Personally, I feel like sneakers can work with any type of garment. It gives such a great energy of comfort and an active attitude. This contrast of energy and mixing different element gives a totally different look. 

Q. If you could customise any ASICS silhouette what model would you choose to reconstruct and why?

A. I would love to work with the ASICS classic GEL-KAYANO™ 14 sneaker model next time. I think this model has a great body shape and beautiful construction that could be very interesting to rework.


The project was live exclusively at Dover Street Market.