Outside of the Court: Onitsuka Tiger X Andrea Pompilio's OK Basketball New Release
The company's 70th anniversary was celebrated through the relaunching of the OK Basketball line which was the first basketball shoes Onitsuka Tiger ever created. It was its lightweight and simple yet sleek design that boosted players' performance. Moreover, brand founder Kihachiro Onitsuka believed that basketball, in particular, would be the sport that would rekindle and nurture the self-esteem of the youth in post-war Japan.
Onitsuka Tiger has recently dropped, not one, not two, but three unique and fresh OK Basketball designs. These three new releases are the products of Onitsuka Tiger's newest collaboration with Japanese-Italian designer and media icon Andrea Pompilio. They started working together on collections in 2013. Since then, they have produced the likes of the iconic paint-splattered X-Caliber silhouette of the 80s, Pompilio's reinvention of Colorado eighty-five, and the 2015 silhouettes the 'Gladiator' and the 'Alliance'.
The three new shoes were made in such a way that it was casual enough to wear outside of the court. It bridges and blurs the gap between sports and life without it, further putting emphasis on the belief that playing sports could transform lives with a more active lifestyle.These three latest models all have the classic silhouette. The outsoles are made of high-quality rubber. There are no drastic changes in the shoes. There was also little to no straying away from the original OK Basketball. One upgrade that affects the wearer's experience is the addition of a thick sockliner. All the new models are high-cut with zigzag stitching that border the uppers.
The first two shoe models have basic contrasting color schemes with either a black on cream or cream on black. It is a basic shoe that can be easily paired with any outfit. On the upper's inner area along the ankles is a circular insignia with the words 'Kobe Onitsuka'. These same words are also stitched in on the tongue's tag. Similarly, a black and white Onitsuka Tiger patch is on the upper's outer area, opposite of the circular insignia. The third and final new release challenges the simplicity of the first two, as the shoe is not made in one solid color. Despite it having the same structure and silhouette, its printed design makes all the difference. On the upper is an aesthetically grained print of a tropical beach complete with the shadows of palm trees. There is a grainy gradient of red violet, blue, and sandy yellow. Even the color of the shoestrings echoes the tropics as a theme as it is in a lava orange shade with subtle patterns of black and yellow in them. All in all, Onitsuka Tiger and Andrea Pompilio have outdone themselves with casual streetwear-like shoes and one that gives off the warm, summer vibe.