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Onitsuka Tiger Autumn Winter 2019

Onitsuka Tiger Autumn Winter 2019

  • Strong and edgy with an urban-retro vibe, the Japanese urbanwear icon celebrates its 70th year with “Downtown Rave”
Onitsuka Tiger Fall Winter 2019

While championing the sports market with their performance sneakers, the Onitsuka Tiger brand aims to refresh and revolutionise their identity. In that spirit, Creative Director Andrea Pompilio has turned up the style factor a couple of notches by taking us back in time alongside his 90s rave club inspired streetwear looks.

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 Onitsuka Tiger AW 2019 campaign visuals (Photo credit: Onitsuka Tiger)

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 Onitsuka Tiger AW 2019 campaign visuals (Photo credit: Onitsuka Tiger)

The collection embodies the spirit of youth culture and electronic music, echoing a similar energetic beat with striking bold tones, powerful forms and gleaming textures across the quilted layers. Counting the number of exciting collaborations with Street FighterGivenchy and their recent announcement partnership with 7 cult fashion brands, we reckon it’s just going to get better.

Onitsuka Tiger fashion drops
Onitsuka Tiger AW 2019 fashion drops (Photo credit: Onitsuka Tiger)

Expect styles from the Onitsuka Tiger Autumn Winter 2019 collection to drop in batches every month, from July to December this year. The series is divided into five different themes, rooted on street fashion and nightlife culture. A different theme will hit the stores each month, boasting fashion items including chunky sole sneakers, bright sporty looks and utilitarian outerwear pieces.

The brand also launched a few exciting new sneaker styles like the chunky runner MT and knit trainers that are made in a variety of textures. The thick block soles that are inspired by 90s platform shoes is recreated to add to the overall retro streetwear theme.

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 Onitsuka Tiger AW 2019 campaign visuals (Photo credit: Onitsuka Tiger)

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 Onitsuka Tiger AW 2019 campaign visuals (Photo credit: Onitsuka Tiger)

With the wave of collaborations and refreshed take on performance sportswear, Onitsuka Tiger managed to balance out both functionality and style throughout their collections. Starting out with their sneakers as a main focus, now the brand boasts a competitive range of fashion items including apparels, bags and accessories.

At Bangkok’s Warehouse 30—an assorted bunch of local celebrities, influencers, and journalists—assembled for a special preview of the newest collection from Japanese brand Onitsuka Tiger.

The once abandoned warehouse, featuring a stage of live mannequins and hypnotic LED visuals, is the backdrop to the brand’s fall/winter 2019 presentation called “Downtown Rave”. Indeed, the design ethos behind the collection showcases a strong, edgy retro-urban vibe.

“It incorporates that European club scene with bold colour blocks and logo play, but we’ve kept it minimalist and styled it oversized,”

says Creative Director Andrea Pompilio.

“I was inspired by the ’90s and the rave parties I used to go to when I was younger. There’s lots of references to that, such as miniskirts for women worn with very chunky sneakers—it’s very psychedelic but in a modern and contemporary way.”

Andrea Pompilio

Andrea Pompilio, Onitsuka Tiger Creative Director. Photo: Courtesy

The 45-year-old first started collaborating with Onitsuka Tiger six years ago after a chance meeting with Ryoji Shoda, Director, Head of Onitsuka Tiger, in Japan where Pompilio was already selling his own namesake label. Pompilio had decided he wanted to create sneakers for his next collection and as a result was introduced to Shoda. “We went out for breakfast and instantly hit it off , so we did the first lot of shoes together and from there it became a really big collaboration.”

The partnership between the Italian designer and the Japanese heritage brand proved so successful that Pompilio was named Creative Director last year. Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, the brand (founded by a former military officer to raise postwar self-esteem through athletics) has certainly benefited from the fresh energy and vision of Pompilio, who previously worked with Prada, Calvin Klein and Saint Laurent.

Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger Fall/Winter 2019 Collection. Photo: Courtesy

While footwear might be at the core of Onitsuka Tiger, the brand also offers apparel and accessories for both men and women—think quilted outerwear referencing ’90s snowboarder looks paired with chunky sneakers, snow goggle eyewear, side release buckle belts and tone-on-tone tracksuits which make for the ultimate updated, athletic-meets-street look.

“For me it’s not about being a man or a woman anymore. It’s also not about being genderless because I don’t like that word, but it’s about being free to do what you want,”

says Pompilio talking about the current fluidity in fashion.

“For example, if a woman dresses in a menswear jacket, I find that very sexy.”

This notion is something more and more brands are also getting on board with as they start to showcase co-ed runways to better reflect the design themes shared by a brand’s men’s and women’s collections each season.

But that’s where Pompilio would like the similarities to end. When questioned about the trend of luxury brands tapping into the streetwear market, the designer was candid.

“In all honesty, I really don’t like it. I say that because I think fashion is very interesting but you cannot change your brand just because fashion is asking for sweatshirts, you know what I mean? If you’re a couture atelier, you must be a couture atelier, if you’re a sportswear company, you must continue doing sportswear. I do think sportswear has the ability to transition more towards luxury because I could make a sweatshirt in 100 percent cashmere and it would be luxury, but the idea that a couture atelier could make a silk sweatshirt for me is ridiculous. So I really don’t believe in this; I just don’t see any beauty in it.”

Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger Fall/Winter 2019 Collection. Photo: Courtesy

So what’s the must-have piece of the season? “I think our padded jackets are a must-have. They are not so good for your [Singapore] climate but in Europe in winter we love to wear layers, and padded jackets really add that richness to your look.”

For Pompilio, the creative process is all about being in the moment and taking stock of the environment. “I’m like a sponge, I’m soaking everything in. I love people watching, the airport is a great place for that. I like to learn about different cultures and different people—that’s what my life is all about, that’s what’s important.”

Shop online now at www.onitsukatiger.com


Also published on Medium.

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