Andrea Pompilio Talks About Onitsuka Tiger Fall/Winter 2021 Collection And The Digital Presentation, “UNFASHIONSHOW”

The Fall/Winter 2021 collection was presented for the first time at Milan Fashion Week

Japanese fashion brand, Onitsuka Tiger presents its Fall/Winter 2021 Collection for the first time at Milan Fashion Week (MFW) last February with a digital film entitled “UNFASHIONSHOW”. Under the creative helm of fashion designer Andrea Pompilio, Onitsuka Tiger began presenting its ready-to-wear collections at Pitti Immagine Uomo in 2013, and in 2014, moved its shows to Tokyo Fashion Week, Japan’s biggest fashion event. Italy is closely related to Onitsuka Tiger: Pompilio’s home and studio is based in Milan, and Onitsuka Tiger recently opened its first flagship store in the city on December 18, 2020, under the creative direction of Pompilio and renowned Italian architect, Filippo Dini. For a brand with two cores, Tokyo and Milan, and upholding the design theme of “East meets West”, moving its show to MFW this season was the most natural step in solidifying this link, and to growing Onitsuka Tiger’s presence, positioning and awareness in the market. DA MAN chats with the creative director about the collection, the digital presentation and hopes for the brand.

Andra Pompilio. Photo credit: Mattia Zoppellaro

­­DAMAN: Hi, Andrea. Great to have you with us again. How are you doing these days?

Andrea Pompilio: Very well. After a long relaxing weekend, I’m already jumping into a new project for the next season.


DA: Congratulations for the Fall/Winter 2021 show, how are you feeling after the show?

AP: Unfortunately, my life is quite stressful and sometimes it is difficult to have emotions after a fashion show because there are always new problems to solve or the next collection to design. Anyway, after a week, as soon as I had two seconds to stop and think about what I did, happiness popped up!


DA: This is the first time Onitsuka Tiger presented at the Milan Fashion Week. Tell us how do you feel about it and what does it mean for the brand?

AP: With Onitsuka we had already shown in Italy at the beginning of our collaboration during Pitti Immagine, but presenting the collection in Milan was a dream in the drawer, especially after 8 years together.

Given the recent opening of the first flagship store in Milan was studied and designed by me and architect Filippo Dini, it seemed like a fantastic opportunity to present the collection right here, in my city to represent the Italian world and in particular the Milanese one. This was also possible thanks to the participation of Myss Keta, Gabriele Esposito and Ozmo who represent this world very well and are the emblem of the encounter between music, art and performance.


DA: And what are your hopes for the brand after this?

AP: There are a lot of things going on. My work is a continuous process, in fact day after day the ideas continue to evolve … so there will be many surprises!


DA: Why did you decide to make a digital film instead to showcase the collection?

AP: The pandemic has made fashion week almost completely virtual and so I have found a new creative expression in the videos that I find very interesting. The emotions that you feel watching a video that has a mix of lights, music and colors are very close to those of a fashion show or cinema.

DA: Moving on to the collection, what’s the story behind the Fall/Winter 2021 collection? Is there any continuation from the previous collection to this one?

AP: There is always a continuation between one season and another. it is very important to maintain a common thread through the history of the collections. There are in fact several distinctive elements that are repeated. A part of the collection is always monochromatic in neutral tones of black, white or grey in contrast with a part with very bright and pop colors. There are always materials such as nylon and jersey re-proposed with different volumes and details. Season after season there is always an evolution regardless of the mood and inspiration of the moment.

Specifically, this season the inspiration of this collection comes from the peaks of the Himalayas and that is why we find different connections with the world of trekking – a natural and uncontaminated place where one can take a walk and somehow find ourselves.


DA: You collaborated with Toyoki Adachi for this collection. Why did you choose Adachi, specifically?

AP: I love to collaborate with artists or people who can add value to the collection. I immediately fell in love with Toyoki Adachi’s prints. These prints remind me of the spring landscape of mountains and flowering trees.

DA: What do you hope people and the fans of the brand take from this collection?

AP: Through this collection I try to express my positivity, the beauty of life, internationality, the culture of movement and well-being, and the comfort of clothes and shoes. And I hope this message reaches our audience.


DA: And what do you think about people’s clothing habit that are changing because of the pandemic and how to tap into that new behavior?

AP: The pandemic has not changed the way of designing but the process. The main difference is there’s a lot less traveling, we work a lot more with the computer and phone to follow up the processes closely with my Japanese team. Apart from these difficulties, the rest hasn’t changed either in terms of design or my creative process.
What I think is interesting is that people start to enhance their personality and creativity through the way they dress. This would be a fantastic change and a step forward for the fashion industry.

Meanwhile waiting for the Fall/Winter 2021 collection to arrive, you can check the latest Spring/Summer 2021 collection at Onitsuka Tiger’s new boutique at Beach Walk, Bali and Pondok Indah Mall, Jakarta.