Y-3 puts back to the streets a running silhouette that is famous for its simplicity yet unquestionable performance. The Kaiwa integrates some of the elements of Y-3’s most iconic running shoes and sports it in a more progressive fashion. It retains the minimalist design philosophy of Y-3 while boasting of a trendier and sportier styling.
From afar, the Kaiwa does not look formidable. If any, it is very simplistic. Yet it is in its very simple design that its true beauty lies. While the sneaker comes with a sporty style, it still managed to blend two different materials to create a unique statement.
The upper features premium quality leather. There are no loud colors or boisterous design elements. There are no badges, stripes, or what have you. The only thing you will see on the upper is the faint lines made by the junction between the upper and the suede heel, outsole, and the lacing system.
The tongue comes with ample padding so it will never put a strain on the dorsal surface of the foot. Emblazoned on the heel is a 3D-printed logo of Y-3. The same logo screams on the upper section of the tongue. These are the only design elements that you can find on the Kaiwa.
There is one component of the Kaiwa that should be very interesting. Towards the middle of the sneaker between the upper and the outsole is a geometrical element embossed with the designer’s name, “Yohji Yamamoto”. It is easy to mistake the word mark as nothing more than a groove. But, it does serve to create a textural element to the sneaker.
The Y-3 Kaiwa does not scream for attention. However, its simplicity is so strong that it would be unthinkable not to stop and take a closer look at its features.