Nobody saw it coming, but Givenchy has collaborated with Onitsuka Tiger. Tonight at Florence’s Pitti Uomo, the label’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller showcased this unexpected partnership during her epic men’s runway debut.
The co-branded Givenchy x Onitsuka Tiger shoe, the “Mexico 66 GDX,” comes in two variations, an all-white version featuring the brand’s signature tiger-stripe lines with Givenchy lettering and a black version with Givenchy details in red and white. Both styles feature a rear tab emblazoned ‘Givenchy – Onitsuka Tiger’.
Waight Keller herself can often be seen sporting the the original Mexico 66 style.
This is the first time Givenchy has ever partnered with an outside sneaker manufacturer on such a global scale. Likewise, Onitsuka Tiger has never before collaborated with a luxury fashion house.
The label, founded in 1949, is part of Asics, and one of the oldest shoe manufacturers in Japan. It celebrates its 70th anniversary this year, and come 2020 will be an official sponsor of the Tokyo Olympics.
While the collaboration was indeed a surprise, there’s no question that luxury houses are banking big time on the Asian market, so this East/West fusion makes sense.
But now back to the show itself. Sneakers aside, Waight Keller wrote the playbook on how to launch a men’s collection, and it started before guests even entered the grounds of the Villa Palmieri venue.
Many showgoers had sensibly opted for flats, but for heel wearers, there were white Givenchy branded golf carts on hand to ferry them up the steep incline from the road. Both those who braved the climb and those who didn’t were serenaded by a string quartet.
The show, following an extensive aperitivo hour, was staged throughout the villa’s sprawling Italian gardens, replete with lemon trees and white hot-air balloons floating overhead to mesmerizing effect.
Ready-to-wear highlights were the roomy suiting, three-quarter length coats, billowing parkas and pants that had the look of python scales.
There were also plenty of non-Tiger sneakers, plus the house’s classic sock boots. Other notable accessories included studded wrist purses, shoppers and sports bags. Many of the models also sported single pearl earrings.
The limited-edition collaboration kicks will be available see-now-buy-now, starting June 13, from both Givenchy and Onitsuka Tiger flagship stores worldwide, at the first-ever Line pop-up in Japan and online through givenchy.com. The shoes, which come in both women and men’s sizes, retail at around $500.
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