Onitsuka Tiger today announced the launch of the Koi Koi, the third sneaker that it has created in collaboration with Berlin design collective Koi Klub.
The sneaker has a two-tone “nude” colour scheme, which uses contrasting flesh tones – pink for the body and a pale brown for the heel stripes and toe caps. This is combined with detailing in orange. The nude colour scheme is intended to symbolize the bare skin of lovers, while the orange signifies the heat of intense passion. The lining is grey.
Each shoe in the pair is laser-etched with a different Japanese character, standing for “intense” and “love” respectively, but of course both are pronounced the same way – “koi”. The word “koi” has as many as six meanings in Japanese, and Koi Klub uses these linguistic possibilities as the inspiration for all its designs. The repetition of the word in the phrase “koi koi” translates as “intense love” in English.
The design of the sneaker is based on that of the LAY-UP 72. This is a contemporary replica of the classic LAY-UP NYLON shoe from 1972, an early example of the trend in youth fashion towards sports shoes as leisure wear.
Three other carefully selected fashion wear designers have also been invited to get involved in the Koi Koi project, two from Koi Klub’s native Germany and one from Onitsuka Tiger’s homeland of Japan. They were chosen because they share Onitsuka Tiger and Koi Koi’s creativity, attention to detail, passion for quality and authentic spirit.
Tokyo-based Zillion created the laces for the Koi Koi sneakers, which are made from vintage kimono fabric and use the same orange colours as the shoes themselves.
The two German partners, meanwhile, were asked to come up with accessories that would complement the Koi Koi sneaker. Airbag Craftworks has created a version of its Chicago bag that uses the beige nude colour of the sneaker outer and the grey of its lining, combined as in the shoe with orange detailing. The bag is made of high-quality lightweight water-resistant cotton and a rich soft leather, and is supplied with a grey classical Pentel pen. Berlin-based A.D. Deertz, meanwhile, has designed a stylish soft cotton T-shirt which juxtaposes a nude pink body with the red-brown colour used for the taping around the outsole of the shoes.
Look out for a release at selected sneaker retailers across Europe in the coming months.