Downtown Rave: In Conversation With Onitsuka Tiger’s Creative Director Andrea Pompilio
Tell us something about the inspiration for the Autumn/Winter’19 collection.
The theme of the collection is inspired by rave parties in the late 80s and early 90s. Rave is a legal party which usually happens in the countryside. We called the collection ‘Downtown Rave’ because it is inspired by the same and is made for the people living in big cities, hence the term downtown. Supermodel Kate Moss also inspired me. She is the ultimate rave party girl. We have all seen pictures of her with short pants and rain boots.
What are some of the key elements specific to the sneaker collection?
We have a lot of chunky sneakers in the collection. Especially since rave parties, in general, happen in the countryside where it’s continuously pouring. So with the water and mud, one usually opts for the chunky silhouette in boots and sneakers to go out dancing. It’s a lot easier and comfortable. So that was the closet, but we added our twist to it. At Onitsuka Tiger, we always strive to keep it seasonal, contemporary and chic.
What’s your favourite pick from the collection?
I would pick the padded jackets, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. Sometimes it is difficult to choose one piece. They’re my kids. So it is tough to say one is beautiful than the other.
The brand is primarily known for its sneakers. What’s been your approach to design apparel?
For me, it’s not about the separation between sneakers and clothes. It’s like a movie. You have to sell one concept, one movie to the people. So this is my movie. The brand is always talking to a young, new generation. One can see a lot of athleisure pieces with bold colour blocks and logo play since it’s coming from the pub project of the 70s
What have you taken from your collaborations with the brand?
I fell in love with the Japanese culture when I was 20 years old. For me, it’s really about giving and taking of vibes. We give a lot of European vibe to our Japanese brand. At the same time, I took a lot of Japanese culture to Italy for my brand. We almost keep giving presents to each other. Also, the team has always been open and free. I am very respectful of the company in general. It’s one of the oldest sportswear companies.
Is there any brand or designer that has inspired you?
Prada, for sure.
One piece of style advice you’d like to give men?
Always wear the right shoes and boxers. I am obsessed with boxers. It’s the classic underwear.