Onitsuka Tiger’s latest collection is inspired by Japanese minimalism

Shown as part of Milan Fashion Week, Andrea Pompilio’s S/S 2023 collection for Onitsuka Tiger melds sportswear inspirations with the ‘subtractive aesthetic' of Japanese minimalism

Models on runway at the Milan fashion week
Onitsuka Tiger S/S 2023 at Milan Fashion Week
(Image credit: press)

Onitsuka Tiger – the Japanese sportswear brand perhaps best known for its cult Mexico 66 sneakers – has made Milan Fashion Week home in recent seasons, presenting its collections in the city since 2021. In the hands of Italian designer Andrea Pompilio, whose own home and studio are based in Milan, Onitsuka Tiger’s collections infuse expressive Japanese design with references to European street and youth culture.

Onitsuka Tiger at Milan Fashion Week S/S 2023

Model with white outfit walking on runway at the Milan Fashion Week

Onitsuka Tiger S/S 2023

(Image credit: press)

Such cross-cultural pollination is at the bedrock of the label – Pompilio notes that since the beginning of his career Japan has been a particular inspiration to his work; on the other hand, Onitsuka Tiger has drawn from European sportswear since its founding in 1949. This season, for a collection shown at a vast industrial building in a disused Milanese rail yard, Pompilio looked again towards Onitsuka Tiger’s home country for a collection inspired by Japanese minimalism – ‘a subtractive aesthetic that strips away all that is not necessary’.

Model in yellow outfit and shoes walking on runway at Milan Fashion Week

Onitsuka Tiger S/S 2023

(Image credit: press)

It provided a sharp counterpoint to the previous season – whereby Pompilio referenced the avant-garde Japanese designers who travelled to Paris in the 1980s and 1990s – for a collection of fluid but precise silhouettes, inspired by traditional garments like the kimono and the hakama. The former came in the towels draped around the models’ necks, placed to evoke the volume of the kimono, while the latter – a pleated, tie-waist skirt historically worn by kyūdō archers – was evoked in adjustable drawstring elements which ran throughout, redefining the silhouette of T-shirts, shirts and dresses. A reduced colour palette of optic white, black, yellow and green (inspired by the colour of Japanese basil leaves) drew focus to the clarity of the silhouette. 

Woman model in black outfit walking on runway at Milan Fashion Week

Onitsuka Tiger S/S 2023

(Image credit: press )

Footwear this season focussed on innovation, with the returning Serrano sneaker (renewed with bold graphic motifs reminiscent of tiger scratches) appearing alongside setta-inspired flip flops and a new sneaker, the Sclaw (‘nimble yet high performing’, as the brand describes). Alongside, baseball caps and a series of bowling bags feature the shape of the Onitsuka Tiger stripe logo. The final accessory was a pair of Bang & Olufsen headphones, worn around the model’s necks, as if on the move.

Woman model in green outfit walking on runway at Milan Fashion Week

Onitsuka Tiger S/S 2023

(Image credit: press)
Fashion Features Editor

Jack Moss is the Fashion Features Editor at Wallpaper*. Having previously held roles at 10, 10 Men and AnOther magazines, he joined the team in 2022. His work has a particular focus on the moments where fashion and style intersect with other creative disciplines – among them art and design – as well as championing a new generation of international talent and profiling the industry’s leading figures and brands.