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The Onitsuka Tiger era

From the Olympics to TikTok, passing through Uma Thurman and Bruce Lee

The Onitsuka Tiger era From the Olympics to TikTok, passing through Uma Thurman and Bruce Lee

TikTok, the trend incubator par excellence, has finally found a viable alternative to the viral adidas Samba, the favorite trainer of trendsetters starting with Bella Hadid, which has already saturated our FY page due to the frenetic rhythm of trends. With 29.5 million views, the Onitsuka Tiger México 66 is the new must-have of the moment, starring in an endless loop of #howtostyle and #getreadywithme. A slim silhouette and an alternative with vintage and indie appeal far removed from the mainstream counterparts offered by adidas and Nike, but no less filled with history. It is enough to mention that the most popular color, Kill Bill yellow, takes its name from the Tarantino film of the same name in which Uma Thurman appears with an unsheathed katana and a matching jumpsuit.  


onitsuka tiger mexico 66 fan account

Dancing In The Shadows - TSHA

The model debuted in 1968, at the Olympic Games in Mexico City, when the entire Japanese delegation entered the stadium wearing México shoes, presenting the Onitsuka Tiger Stripes to the general public. But the design process started much earlier, in 1964, when the brand realized that it needed to find a unique and distinctive sign for its products and decided to launch an internal competition among more than 200 employees. Together with athletes and experts from Kyoto University, the brand tested proposals with one goal in mind: the perfect compromise between performance and design. The choice fell on the Onitsuka Tiger Stripes, in which the integration of the vertical stripes in the lacing design provided even more stability to the upper, an impact factor on athletic performance. But in the 1970s the model fell into oblivion as the company merged with GTO and JELENK to become ASICS, focusing on a wider range of products, including ski equipment, baseball supplies, and even golf equipment. Footwear continued to perform at a high level, but the iconic Onitsuka Tiger remained in the shadows, taking a back seat to a new range of trainers and running shoes.

But you always go back to where you were good: in 2003, Uma Thurman, referencing Bruce Lee's kung-fu aesthetic in Game of Death, sported a pair of bright yellow Mexico 66s, launching Onitsuka Tiger imagery into the mainstream. Today, more than 50 years later, Japanese sneakers continue to set trends, unwittingly joining the silent debate between chunky trainers and slim silhouettes and dressing celebrities of the caliber of the Royal Family: including Prince William and Kate Middleton, as well as Emma Watson in her off-set breaks.