Onitsuka Tiger's Digital Film Is a Wild Trip 

The Japanese fashion brand unveils its fall/winter 2021 collection in Milan Fashion Week.
IMAGE Onitsuka Tiger

It’s always a treat to watch the new breed of fashion shows, the kind unfettered from the constraints of physical location and even time (you can watch a fashion presentation live or later!), so that labels can just go ham and do whatever they want. 

Take Onitsuka Tiger, the sports-inclined fashion brand that created the Mexico 66 sneaker on your feet, for example. In its fall/winter 2021 set, the Japanese label went for a hybrid of sorts, a runway presentation annotated by the charismatic Myss Keta, to create a tableau in three parts. 

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A post shared by M¥SS KETA (@myss.keta)

The blond-haired figure, covered in dark sunglasses and a glittering sequin mask, introduces herself as a pop star and a show woman and then remains on-screen as the five-minute digital film, dubbed Unfashionshow, continues. Models swirl around her. Strobes of white-hot light break up the green-tinged set. And Keta convincingly fires off her commentary, which includes “so elegant,” “so colorful, “ooh la la,” and, most relevant to Onitsuka, “tigrrre.” 

Suddenly, the dancing, which is also happening in the background care of dancer Gabriele Esposito, intensifies and pulls focus. Finally, the last act slows down the pace as visual artist Ozmo paints a portrait of Keta with Esposito (models, of course, still hang around to show off the clothes). The film zooms to Keta, who, reclining on a chaise lounge for her portrait, delivers this final blow: “The show is now over but the Onitsuka dream will never end.” 

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A post shared by Gabriele (@gabesposito)

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A post shared by Ozmo (@ozmone)

If you’re left scratching your head, don’t worry. These things don’t have to make sense. It may be more important in these weird times that fashion remains fun and even a bit zany. 


And maybe it was planned. In a strange bit of synergy, the curious show highlights the clothes even more. Designed by creative director Andrea Pompilio, Onitsuka Tiger’s fall 2021 set, which takes its cues from trekking in the ’70s, is decidedly minimal. A scheme of black and gray nylon overtakes the collection, while pops of life—orange, yellow, neon blue—only appear in select jackets and tracksuits. 

Photo by Onitsuka Tiger.

Photo by Onitsuka Tiger.
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Photo by Onitsuka Tiger.

As it is inspired by navigating the Himalayas, functionality is embedded in these fashion pieces, too, with toasty warm fleece featuring nylon inlays and vintage-inspired piping. These sober clothing—pinstripe suits and belted puffers—shouldn’t fit the hype of the show, but they just gel (you can thank Keta).

One more thing: Milan Fashion Week is a first for Onitsuka. The big move is not at all arbitrary as Pompilio is based in Milan and the brand also opened its first flagship store in the city in December 2020. The shift also underscores the dual nature of Onitsuka, a label born in Tokyo but is known all over the world. As Miss Keta says, the tiger's story continues.

Photo by Onitsuka Tiger.

See the digital film below:


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Clifford Olanday
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