A unique high-end streetwear label, Onitsuka Tiger has consistently been the bridge between classic elements and contemporary fashion. It’s obvious that Japanese heritage is significant to the brand’s identity today. The fashion house’s latest runway presentation by creative director Andrea Pompilio during Milan Fashion Week AW23 — themed “Urban Layering” — was a nod to the Japanese tradition of dressing in layers and it was a visual delight, featuring some structured silhouettes and monochromatic popping hues. South Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna, who was there at the front row of the star-studded showcase, is the latest addition to the Onitsuka family, joining other big names like Gulf Kanawut, Heart Evangelista, Jung Il Woo, and more. ELLE spoke with the rising star about her personal style, Onitsuka Tiger’s must-have pieces, why comfort is important and more.
ELLE: What is your personal style like and how does it resonate with Onitsuka Tiger’s aesthetic?
Rashmika Mandanna: My personal go-to style is very minimalistic and comfortable, much like Onitsuka Tiger’s latest AW23 collection. I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture, as I have grown up watching Japanese anime. Dressing in layers is a central part of Japanese culture, matched with oversized and flowing tailoring—another example of fashionable excellence from Japan. The new AW23 collection builds on the essence of this Japanese tradition by filtering it through Onitsuka Tiger’s sporty DNA, presenting a collection that, while maintaining its active spirit, is more focused on an urban aesthetic. I absolutely love mega anoraks, the oversized coats made of crafted faux fur, tailored, oversized three-button jackets, and coats. These items can also be worn on top of each other to make the silhouette voluminous but less bulky.
ELLE: What makes Onitsuka Tiger stand out for you as a brand?
RM: They have always been a frontrunner when it comes to bringing forth the best of contemporary collections that combine fashion with sports and heritage with innovation. This is very well represented in their latest collection, which is defined by details that turn the simplest garments into design objects. The brand’s top-of-the-line craftsmanship and timeless designs are sure to make one stand out from the heap of other luxury labels.
ELLE: What are some athleisure style essentials that are a wardrobe must-have?
RM: When it comes to athleisure, I depend on ensembles that help me feel comfortably stylish, and confident. I usually go for co-cord sets, sweatshirts, and joggers for my athleisure looks. I absolutely love the monochrome colour palette of Onitsuka Tiger’s AW 2023 collection, starting with their signature black to shades of grey, beige, and flashes of pumpkin orange. Their stylish and lightweight sneakers are absolute must-haves in my wardrobe. I am simply in awe of the oversized coats made of crafted faux fur, tailored coats having a see-through effect, and adorned with large, knitted martingales. Baggy trousers made of nylon and melton, and quilted chiffon shorts layered over precious boxer shorts are the perfect choice to complete anyone’s look!
ELLE: Onitsuka Tiger’s S/S23 collection is centered around Japanese minimalism. What are some ways that you approach minimalism when putting together an outfit?
RM: The latest collection inspired by Japanese minimalism is defined by details that turn the simplest garments into design objects. The focus of the collection is put on the backs of the looks that lose their two-dimensionality to acquire unexpected and three-dimensional volume: in addition to the drawstrings that redefine the silhouette. I am inspired by how the dresses that can be taken apart, and the jackets that can be worn with capes borrowed from trench coats. The colour palette, black and white interrupted by the tinge of the label’s signature yellow and shiso green, helps you make a statement with your ensemble. For me, a minimal contemporary look would be a co-ord set, a sweatshirt with joggers, or something as simple as wide-leg jeans with a cool t-shirt.