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, coupled 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, with muted, earthy hues, patchwork, and voluminous shapes in loose-fitting pieces and oversized coats. Tiger’s iconic blue and red Claw Stripes, which was utilised for 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, featuring 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 — dark colours and utilitarian attire are going to carry us through the world’s catastrophes — if not for Brian Kenny’s bright-eyed optimism. Known for his vibrant, expressionistic mixed media works that explores societal perceptions about gender, sexuality, and politics, the New York-based multidisciplinary artist has livened up Tiger’s latest collection with an eye-popping range that features 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 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)