Dec 24 2019

Onitsuka Tiger × Tomohisa Yamashita

A collaborative project “Onitsuka Tiger 70th ANNIVERSARY × 7 DESIGNERS” started from the summer of 2019 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Onitsuka Tiger.

Onitsuka Tiger’s collaboration with seven up-and-coming designers has captured the hearts and minds of many fashionistas and is attracting a great deal of domestic and international attention.

The 7th and last collaboration with Tomohisa Yamashita who is active on the global scene went on sale on December 26. Yamashita attended the announcement ceremony held on December 19 at Laforet Museum Harajuku in Tokyo and spoke about his vision and intent behind his design.

He based the design of these shoes on “Rinkan Boot™” which was inspired by field boots in the Onitsuka Tiger archive.

The color is what first catches your attention. The single color of pure white leaves a vivid impression.

Yamashita explains, “continuing on your journey without stopping, meeting many new people, seeing new sights, and having new encounters along the way, your previously uncolored mind gradually begins to take on an original color. I designed these shoes in the hope that you may experience these moments wearing pure white Onitsuka Tiger shoes.”

While retaining a field boot feeling that is not too rugged, the shoes have been cut high with a 3cm longer shaft length. Rubber parts have been added to the heel, so the design of the sole is different from the original. The insole and clear rubber sole have the four letters “GFWD” printed on them. This acronym has been coined from a favorite word of Yamashita’s, maishin (go forward), and symbolizes the attitude to always be forward-looking.

Yamashita was also particular about the shoe box.

While living in Spain at the time he produced these shoes, one of the sights that particularly left an impression on him was the brilliant colors of the flame tree (delonix regia) and its beautiful red flowers. Based on photos that he took of flame trees in full bloom, he has created graphics with a Japanese touch through the contrast of “red flowers and white shoes.”


At the reception held that night at Tokyo’s Laforet Museum Harajuku, the shoes of all seven designers who collaborated in this project were shown at the museum entrance.

The image of flame trees was also used for the finger food provided at the event. The food and dishes in red placed on white tables, and an interior adorned with flame tree graphics all served as the staging for the shoes.

There was a DJ who played music in coordination with images controlled by Yamashita, livening up the event for the many guests who attended.

Special visuals and a movie for the “Onitsuka Tiger × Tomohisa Yamashita” collaborative shoes can be viewed at a special website and SNS. Please check them out!