Japanese sports and streetwear brand Onitsuka Tiger staged its spring show in an indoor running stadium on an island in Tokyo Bay. The festivities began with a marching band, wheel acrobatics and dancers who flew through the air doing backflips and the like. And with the 2020 Summer Olympics being hosted by Tokyo, creative director Andrea Pompilio drew inspiration both from the city and from past editions of the Games.
“This season is a big homage to Tokyo because it’s going to be the Olympic Games of 2020,” Pompilio said. “The collection is going to be in the stores at that time, and that’s the reason why you see a lot of luggage. Because for me it’s like all the world is coming here and Tokyo has become a really big center of the world. For the Olympics but also because Tokyo at the moment is a really big center of creativity and a very inspiring city for so many people.”
The luggage Pompilio mentioned was made of slick vinyl in the Olympic colors and emblazoned with either retro or modern looking logos. Shapes ranged from cosmetic bags to Boston bags.
“Another big inspiration is about all historical and past Olympic Games from the Fifties to Sixties to Seventies. It’s a mix of sportswear, but done in a very street, very high level and luxury contemporary brand,” the designer said.
Pompilio’s collection was in many ways simple and pared down, with all-black looks consisting of skirts worn with bra tops, T-shirts or swing tank tops with tiny shorts, or roomy coats in functional fabrics. But there were also brightly colored mesh basketball jerseys, color-blocked long-sleeve tops, and jackets in bright safety yellow accented with reflectors. Shocks of neon pink, orange and yellow throughout the show brightened up the darker black and indigo looks.
In attendance at the show was local media personality and social media star Naomi Watanabe, who is an ambassador for the brand. She said she thought the collection was original and cool, and so sporty that it made her want to participate in sports herself as well.
Outside the venue after the show, Watanabe said she hopes to get involved in the Tokyo Olympics in some way.
“Now that so many people from all over the world are interested in Japan, I want to do something to support Japan,” she said. “With the little influence that I have I want to support both the young and old people who are dispatching good things from Japan to the rest of the world.”