In the past few years, sneakers have been making a comeback. Many brands are developing new types of sneakers, reissuing them, and attracting new users. Among all the brands, the two I'm about to introduce are particularly active on the streets.
Onitsuka Tiger is a sports shoe brand founded by Kihachiro Onitsuka in 1949. The brand name came from a tiger logo that the president of the factory that manufactured the first basketball shoes put on the soles as a joke, and which Onitsuka liked very much. The combination of the tiger and the oni (demon) in Onitsuka's name evoked the image of an incredibly strong animal, and the "Onitsuka Tiger" brand was born.
In recent years, lovers of the Onitsuka Tiger brand have been increasing, especially among young women. The secret of the brand's popularity lies in its retro design, combining a slim silhouette, thin soles, and sophisticated color schemes, which makes the Onitsuka Tiger sneaker instantly recognizable. These sneakers are easy to match with any outfit, and their vaguely elegant design is highly addictive. Many may think that Onitsuka Tiger sneakers are as expensive as they are fashionable and high-quality, but they actually come at a rather reasonable price. Except for a few lines, most models go for less than 13,000 yen.
The director is Mikio Sakabe, namesake and designer of the MIKIO SAKABE brand. It is an up-and-coming footwear brand that began sales in July 2019, based on the concept of "creating a new form of communication between humans and the earth through shoes.” Its flagship product, the Jewelry Series, has been trending on social media, especially among trend-conscious young people, as a next-generation sneaker that is "a breath of fresh air." The series is now recognized as "wearable jewelry."
The thick, clear soles made of transparent spheres reminiscent of jewels bring all the attention to the wearer’s feet. Each sphere is designed to move softly with the movement of the foot, giving the wearer a unique walking comfort and grip. The flexibility of the material is controlled so that once put on, the wearer can feel these sneakers’ optimal cushioning, which creates a floating sensation, imperceptible to the hand. The height of the heel part is about 5 cm for all sizes, and although they are quite voluminous, the clear design reduces the visual weight. This year, shoes, not bags, may become the mainstay to upgrade a simple outfit.
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