The heritage label, owned by Asics, is set to open a pop-up shop in New York City’s Soho neighborhood. The 1,290-sq.-ft. space at 92 Mercer Street opens Friday and will remain open until December.
“[Soho] is not only a leading fashion neighborhood in the New York City, but it speaks to who the Onitsuka Tiger customer is directly,” Gene McCarthy, president and CEO of Asics America, told Footwear News.
Making its U.S. debut at the pop-up shop is the Nippon Made Collection, a hand-stitched line executed with a Japanese dye process that yields a one-of-a-kind look for each sneaker. Also at the store will be the collaborative Onitsuka Tiger x Andrea Pompilio Capsule Collection, a Japanese sport line that incorporates Italian inspiration, which originally made its debut in spring ‘13.
Aside from the Nippon Made and Andrea Pompilio drops, the store will house several Onitsuka Tiger footwear and apparel selections, plus an exhibition space with an archive of replica performance shoes and posters. The gallery also boasts the collaborative artwork of celebrated Japanese muralist Enirico Isamu Oyama.
According to McCarthy, the space speaks to New York’s sophisticated, fashion-focused consumer.
“The Onitsuka Tiger consumer is a global trendsetter — worldly and culturally influenced,” he said. “The consumer has an interest in fashion — designers from large fashion houses to upcoming designers and culture, including art, travel, literature and music.
The purpose of the store, according to McCarthy, is to have the brand connect with its New York-based customers, something the exec admitted it hasn’t done yet.
“Onitsuka Tiger is internally known, and those international customers not only frequent New York City — and Soho specifically — but also many have moved into the area,” he said. “As Onitsuka Tiger has re-emerged as a fashion brand primarily based on past heritage rather than merely sneakers, it is an opportunity for us to grow with our growing network of Onitsuka Tiger customers.”
The shop will also be the home to several fashion, lifestyle, health and music in-store events that will continue through its December close date.