IN PHOTOS: Andrea Pompilio’s Onitsuka Tiger Spring/Summer 2019 Collection
Andrea Pompilio has been rewriting the house rules since first collaborating with Onitsuka Tiger in 2013. Each collection has served to nudge the rather traditional Japanese sportswear company back into the fashion conversation. Pompilio often describes his work with Onitsuka Tiger as a successful co-branding: an Italian designers bringing his European mentality and taste to a traditional Japanese sportswear company. For the SS19 collection, Pompilio mined the Onitsuka Tiger archives for shapes and techniques he could mix with creations of his own, prompting a rather robust conversation between old and new that embraces this unlikely partnership.
The collection picked up where the AW18 show left off. That one, with its classic track jacket, loose-fit knits and oversized caps, was inspired by the fashion of 1920’s New York; crossing the styles of different eras and giving rather classic items a modern flair. This one, Pompilio noted, was to depict “a melting pot of different cultures inspired by the mixing and meshing of various references”. Indeed the rather obvious combination of materials and prints combining modern graphics in the SS19 collection certainly alludes to not only conclusive opinions about the trends, culture and style of next spring but also is a clear depiction of fashion globalisation today: a chaotic pluralism, expanding in every corner only to depict the “fusion” of different cultural elements found in a single garment.
This played out on the runway as an impactful virtue of unconventional combinations sought to depict the collection’s self-described international outlook: light wash denim trousers paired with similarly hued chambray button down, immense ruffled maxi skirts accompanied by asymmetric oversized knits or cotton jersey co-ords coupled with matching coloured socks and OK basketball RBs. The unfettered straightforwardness of this collection was central to its appeal. This was an athletic collection after all and so without over complications, it derived its persuasive power from its effortless appetite and minimal understated knockouts. The star of Onitsuka Tiger’s SS19 collection was most certainly a one piece Kill Bill style yellow and black tracksuit paired with the brand’s iconic Mexico 66 sneaker as seen in Bruce Lee’s Game of Death film. “In any season, we try to make obvious references like this. The tracksuit looks straight out of a Kill Bill movie!” commented Pompilio. This season, Pompilio also made a point of resurrecting the Hawaiian shirt. The vacation friendly look featured a matching knee length short and button down shirt that displayed a vibrant and bold nature based print with graphic wordings written across its front. While the Hawaiian shirt is often referred to as a novelty garment, Pompilio’s creative reinvention of the 1930s American trend was an effortless look so easy to wear but with much panache and sophistication at the same time - a composite of bunches that somehow never appeared sloppy.
This season, Pompilio designed a collection that was worthy of attention. He made sure to bring his own identity and ethos to the brand through creating rather androgynous looks. Emphasizing the point, Pompilio sent out both male and female models down the runway wearing similar if not the same looks, reiterating the “genderless” and progressive element of Pompilio’s creative direction. While the concept of gender fluidity has only recently entered mainstream conversation, it was positive to see Pompilio thinking along these fluid, body positive and androgynous lines. It was a “boderless collection” after all - a collection that “reflected a global society where people hold a diversity of world views and celebrate different forms of love.”
Andrea Pompilio’s Onitsuka Tiger SS19 collection will be launched in stores from February to April 2019 and will be available at Greenbelt 5 and Shangri-La.