Under the helm of creative director Andrea Pompilio, Onitsuka Tiger has earned its stripes as a mainstay of Milan Fashion Week ever since its debut in autumn/winter 2021. The label, known for merging fashion with sportswear, recently presented its spring/summer 2023 show which explored athleisure through the lens of Japanese minimalism.
From what we’ve seen on the runway, Pompilio’s new collection consists of sleek silhouettes and a simple colour palette consisting of monochrome hues, shiso green and bright yellow. Held at Via Valtellina, Milan, Onitsuka Tiger’s spring/summer 2023 collection took inspiration from the aesthetic of subtraction and sought to express beauty by stripping away the unnecessary.
Most prominent in this line are design elements borrowed from Japanese culture, such as silhouettes resembling hakamas worn by kyūdō archers. By focusing on simplicity, Pompilio elevates the sporty spirit of the brand and reinterprets it in a ready-to-wear key: the metropolitan soul is still the same, but the use of fabrics and complex constructions are added.
As comfort and style continue to dominate our way of post-pandemic dressing, it’s easy to understand why creative consultant Mae Tan naturally gravitates towards the label when packing for her trip to Milan. The Italian city is steeped in cultural heritage and there’s plenty to do when it comes to art, food and fashion.
A busy day of sight-seeing in Milan calls for a fuss-free wardrobe and functionality is exactly what Tan looks for. Her go-to outfit? Pairing pieces from Onitsuka Tiger’s autumn/winter 2022 collection like a flame-knit jumper and white high-top PETAL sneakers with her own corduroy pants and statement accessories.
When asked what stood out to her at the Onitsuka Tiger spring/summer 2023 show, Tan says: “The sportswear pieces that have long drawstrings. They allow for multiple looks and silhouettes, which fit perfectly in the wardrobe of a chameleon like myself. Not forgetting the lounge and tech-like fabrics that are suitable for any activity.”
Here, Tan shares with us the must-see spots in the fashion capital and shows us how one Onitsuka Tiger outfit works for any occasion.
To start the day off right, Tan recommends going to Bar Luce. “The café is designed by one of my favourite filmmakers, Wes Anderson and it offers a dream-like escape,” says Mae. “Bar Luce is a great place for photos and food with its beautiful interior design and delicious panini.”
L.O.V.E by Maurizio Cattelan at Piazza Affari
Though ‘L.O.V.E’ is in its name, the title of Maurizio Cattelan’s sculpture is an acronym for Libertà, Odio, Vendetta, Eternità (liberty, hate, vengeance, eternity). The imposing marble sculpture situated at Milan’s stock exchange square is known for its symbolic form: a transformation of Italy’s fascist hand salute by slicing off all fingers except one.
On why the site is a must-see, Tan explains, “I love the Dada art movement and the rebellious spirit of Cattelan’s ‘L.O.V.E’ reminded me of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’. Especially now when more people are exploring Crypto and Web3, this sculpture is apt in message and time.”
Onitsuka Tiger’s flagship store
Unique to Milan is Onitsuka Tiger’s flagship store in Porta Garibaldi. Synthesising Italian and Japanese architectural styles, the shop boasts museum-like spaces and exclusive Onitsuka Tiger apparels. Case in point? The Gallery is a room designed by Pompilio that is entirely covered in tai-chi yellow, a colour symbolic of the brand.
Having visited the place for a round of afternoon shopping, Tan adds: “The Milan flagship store gives a whole new retail experience. The team was extremely attentive and helpful in picking a pair of Onitsuka Tiger sneakers!”
With activities for Milan all sorted, here’s where you can shop to emulate Mae Tan’s style and put together a jet-set look.