9 Little Known Facts About Onitsuka Tiger


Last Updated on 2023-06-17 , 1:16 pm

Unraveling the Journey of Onitsuka Tiger: Unveiling Its Origins, Ownership, and Legacy

Onitsuka Tiger, a name often synonymous with trendy sports footwear, made its bold entry into Singapore a few years back. For many, it was a brand-new encounter with a cool player in the world of fashion. But little did they realize that Onitsuka Tiger is a seasoned veteran in the field of athletic footwear. Unearthing the depths of Onitsuka Tiger’s history, we discover that this brand is not as new as it appears, but one that has been carving its niche since 1949.

Digging Deeper into the Onitsuka Tiger Origin Story

The Onitsuka Tiger origin story goes back to when it was initially known as Onitsuka Co. Ltd. It all started on September 1, 1949, under the leadership of Kihachiro Onitsuka, a former military officer. Initially, the company focused on making basketball shoes before gradually expanding into a broader range of sports footwear.

Onitsuka Tiger Owner and ASICS Connection

Many might wonder, “Who owns Onitsuka Tiger?” The answer lies within the roots of the ASICS Corporation. In 1977, Onitsuka Tiger merged with two other Japanese companies, GTO and JELENK, and thus ASICS was born. So, the ASICS Corporation owns Onitsuka Tiger, and the Onitsuka Tiger shoes you see on shelves today are actually part of their vintage line.

Unearthing the Onitsuka Tiger-Nike Connection

Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, recognized the potential of Onitsuka Tiger shoes in the US market and founded Blue Ribbon Sports to distribute the brand across the states. Later, this company evolved into the globally recognized Nike Inc.

From Onitsuka Tiger Shoes to Nike Cortez

When Phil Knight bid farewell to Onitsuka Tiger, he carried with him the design of the iconic Cortez. If he had stayed, the famous Nike Cortez would have been branded as an Onitsuka Tiger product. The Cortez moniker was coined to spite Adidas, who had named their shoe Azteca Gold after the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

The Onitsuka Tiger Shoes and Beyond

Onitsuka Tiger doesn’t stop at shoes. Today, it offers a wide variety of products, from branded T-shirts, jackets, and backpacks, to tote bags, and more. You can virtually wrap yourself head to toe in Onitsuka Tiger products.


The Onitsuka Tiger History in Pop Culture

Onitsuka Tiger’s classic Mexico 66 shoes reached a new level of popularity when none other than martial arts legend Bruce Lee donned a pair on the big screen. Uma Thurman’s Bride in the edgy film Kill Bill added to this iconic legacy by choosing the same model.

Onitsuka Tiger’s Signature Stripes

The signature stripes that make Onitsuka Tiger instantly recognizable debuted in 1966. However, they weren’t purely aesthetic – the vertical stripe design, integrated into the lacing system, enhanced the shoes’ stability and durability.

The Unique Onitsuka Tiger Marketing Ventures

Onitsuka Tiger’s marketing ingenuity extended to a trainers vending machine tour in Britain in 2008. Tokens from Onitsuka Tiger stores could redeem free shoes from this one-of-a-kind machine.

In an effort to outshine its competitors, Onitsuka Tiger conceptualized an ad featuring a 1.5m long shoe constructed from traditional Japanese puzzle boxes. These functional boxes held stop-motion videos behind each door, adding an element of intrigue and surprise.


So, Why is Onitsuka Tiger Expensive?

Onitsuka Tiger products often come with a higher price tag. But considering the brand’s rich history, innovative design, quality craftsmanship, and its cult status in pop culture, it’s no surprise that many view it as worth the cost.

Stepping into the world of Onitsuka Tiger, you encounter a brand steeped in history, sophistication, and an unmistakable cool factor. So the next time you find yourself shoe shopping, why not consider a pair of Onitsuka Tigers? The journey of the brand, as well as the superior quality of their products, is sure to make your investment worthwhile.

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