For Andrea Pompilio, relevance is the goal.
Since he took his seat in the house of Onitsuka Tiger as Creative Director back in 2018, the Italian designer has been dancing a dainty line between well-loved, timeworn signatures and tangents of brash, creative modernity.
His Midas’ touch on Tiger’s’ pret-a-porter collections, along with a string of hypeworthy collaborations (most recently, Valentino), has seen much fanfare on the world stage, captivating streetwear aficionados in places that the 71-year-old Japanese sportswear stalwart hadn’t been able to reach.
For Autumn/Winter 2020, Pompilio continues to fuse Tiger’s legacy in sportswear technology and craftsmanship with modern silhouettes and imagery. The collection hits on key trends of the season: muted, earthy hues, patchwork, and voluminous shapes (think loose-fitting pieces and oversized coats). Tiger’s iconic blue and red Claw Stripes, seen on its training gear in the 1970s, is brought back as the brand’s new motif, appearing in varied sizes on sweatpants and outerwears.
In the footwear department, standout models include the Dentigre Boot, which features a classical boot design, extra-long laces, and chunky soles, as well as the Big Logo Trainer 2.0 MT that has the Tiger’s Claw Stripe wrapped around each shoe for impact.
The overall mood would have been (aptly) apocalyptic if not for Brian Kenny’s bright-eyed optimism. Known for his vibrant, expressionistic mixed media works that explore societal perceptions about gender, sexuality, and politics, the New York-based multidisciplinary artist has livened up Tiger’s latest collection with eye-popping pieces that feature a patchwork of stripes and varsity numbers on pants, jackets and basketball-style jersey sets.
Kenny isn’t the only high-profile collaborator for Tiger this season. The Japanese label has also roped in multi-hyphenate Willow Smith as its latest ambassador. Shot against a desert landscape (before the worldwide lockdown), the campaign aims to bring awareness to the environment we live in today. “In 2020 when we will enter into a brave new era for humans, we feel a strong affinity and joy as a brand for the fact that we can collaborate with someone who has both a unique perspective on society and intelligence and share messages globally,” said the brand in a statement. Putting their money where their mouth is, Tiger will also be donating a part of the proceeds from this campaign to the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund to support its efforts in the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The Onitsuka Tiger AW2020 collection is now available online, and at Onitsuka Tiger Takashimaya S.C., Jewel, and Suntec City stores in Singapore.
(All images: Onitsuka Tiger)