While Andrea Pompilio’s play with variation and self-referencing might seem repetitive to some, Onitsuka Tiger‘s SS24 saw smart tailoring moments aplenty and a surprising inclusion of sweet, ruched and flowing florals this season.
Perhaps it’s only natural to feel a slight fatigue from looking at black and yellow for a few consecutive seasons. Yes, working a 51-look collection out of a (loosely) two-colour palette is one way to highlight heritage and innovation. But while the few muted cream pieces that tried to do that were refreshing — especially the embroidered knit sweater — the overall effect was negligible, adding minimal dynamic to the visual rhythm of the show.
What breaks this uniformity is Pompilio’s clear direction for Onitsuka Tiger’s fashion sportswear agenda, something definitely appreciated when brand overhauls are all the rage. The layers upon layers of sheer mesh this season cleverly made use of saturation to add dimension, the racer-back and asymmetric sleeves complementing this athleisure endeavour alongside well-placed, Gen Z-approved cut-outs. The Mexico 66, boots and new sandals also continued to prove footwear as the Asics brand’s bread-and-butter — the commitment to exploring within limits the true novelty of this season.
So maybe what Pompilio needs to bring Onitsuka Tiger to the next level is a conceptual breakthrough. Potential is what Onitsuka Tiger has; both its feet were already buried deep in luxury fashion’s two biggest obsessions — sport and workwear — since the start. For now, we’ll just take it that the big idea is still deep in the works; the patience of the loyal knows no bounds.