How do you like your teh tarik? Iced, ‘kaw’ or kurang manis? We prefer ours warm, snug and ready-to-wear.
When ASICS Malaysia, local sneaker store HUNDRED% and Malaysia’s biggest sneaker event, SneakerLAH formed the ultimate dream team back in 2019, they had one goal in mind: to create a shoe design that speaks to all Malaysians and that they would instantly love. Thus the GEL-Kayano 5 OG “Nasi Lemak” was born, giving the beloved model a vibrant and flavourful twist. Rice meets sambal in a clash of vivid red and off-white, with tinges of green and yellow to signify the cucumber and egg yolk respectively.
Following the success of “Nasi Lemak”, the trio once again joined forces the next year with the GEL-LYTE III “Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers” — a sleek and lustrous homage to our iconic skyscrapers. Since then, Bryan Chin of SneakerLAH spent the last year brewing (pun intended!) on the group’s next collab idea. What says ‘Malaysian’ the way our staple dish and tallest icon do?
“Picture a hot afternoon, right?” Bryan says, at the launch of the latest ASICS GEL-LYTE III interpretation. “After your super long day of work, you just want to chill with your buddies… where do you go? The nearest mamak, of course!” He holds a hand up. “‘Boss, teh tarik ais satu!’”
The teh tarik is to teatime what the nasi lemak is to breakfast — absolutely essential, especially to a Malaysian. Drinking teh tarik (literally “pulled tea”) draws Malaysians together from all walks of life, traversing races, cultures, and religions. In the comfort of a kopitiam, mamak or even roadside stalls, hot tea is blended with condensed milk and ‘pulled’ between two cups until it becomes a thick, frothy tea heaven. In fact, the act of pulling teh tarik is a theatrical display in itself — and in similar fashion, that’s exactly what the GEL-LYTE III “Teh Tarik” sets out to be.
According to Bryan, the attention to detail by the dream team in perfecting the “Teh Tarik” is amped up to the max. The design goes beyond just the colourway. The model is made from bold caramel suede, with the right shoe a touch lighter than the left to resemble the variant shades of milk tea. On its sides are eye-catching stripes that mimic the splashes made by the tarik process of making the tea, complemented by the pink of the plastic on teh tarik ikat tepi (“tied on one side”).
A really neat detail can also be found on the shoe’s insoles — speckles, representing the stain left behind on the table by a glass of teh tarik. To top it off, the white translucent sole reflects the gleaming surface of the mamak and kopitiam tables.
“Like how the pulling of the teh tarik enhances the flavours of the tea, we want to enhance the style of the shoe with this design,” adds Boon Tib Soom Nik, Country Manager of ASICS Malaysia. “With the GEL-LYTE III “Teh Tarik”, we hope to share Malaysia’s multicultural diversity with the rest of the world, an icon that bridges the gap across generations.”
It’s clear that a lot of love went into designing the GEL-LYTE III “Teh Tarik”. It’s a subtle nod to Malaysia’s most popular drink, yet detailed enough to honour our roots. And choosing ASICS’ most prominent silhouette, the GEL-LYTE III as the canvas is genius — both sporty and stylish, with lots of room for fun and artistry. We certainly look forward to the next collaboration between the creative minds of ASICS Malaysia, HUNDRED% and SneakerLAH!
The ASICS GEL-LYTE III “Teh Tarik” will be launched for retail on 3rd December 2022 at HOME Concept Store, priced at RM699, and 4th December via online raffle on SneakerLAH.com.