Japan sportswear brand Onitsuka Tiger is a name with decades of history, tracing its roots back to Kihachiro Onitsuka’s living room in Kobe, Japan, in 1949. Motivated by the lack of self-esteem in the city’s youth, post-war, he created his first shoe.
Now, the brand is one of the oldest shoe manufacturers in Japan, and its iconic Mexico 66 sneaker, has been spotted on celebrities worldwide — from Emma Watson to the Duke of Cambridge.
The brand showed its Spring Summer 2019 collection at the Okuma Auditorium in Shinjuku-ku on Monday, 22 October. The collection, dreamt up by Italian designer Andrea Pompilio, is called Summer of Love. “The inspiration behind this collection was sports in general, with references to everything from ballet to basketball and soccer,” said Pompilio. “It’s all of that mixed with some high fashion.”
“It’s about positivity, good energy, freedom of expressing yourself through clothes. That was the main idea I have about Onitsuka and fashion in general,” Pompilio added.
The designer, who cut his teeth working with high-end legacy brands in Europe such as Prada or Yves Saint Laurent, merges European influences with Onitsuka Tiger’s brand legacy in his designs. “I take the historical pieces from Onitsuka and add my own European vision into it, which makes it very contemporary. It comes to me naturally,” he mused. “The result? What you see in this collection.”
Peek through the gallery to see the full collection.