Onitsuka Tiger’s Iconic Stripes Turn 50

Onitsuka Tiger’s Iconic Stripes Turn 50

Although Onitsuka Tiger is now synonymous with the criss-crossing red and blue bands on its popular Mexico 66 shoe, not many people know that the Onitsuka Tiger didn’t always have its stripes. While the company was founded in 1949, its now-iconic bands didn’t make their debut until nearly two decades later. In celebration of the stripes’ 50th birthday, Onitsuka Tiger has teamed up with 50 Singapore-based personalities to showcase different interpretations of the Mexico 66.


“Echoes” by Lionel Low


In preparation for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games, Onitsuka Tiger began developing new ideas for a trademark shoe, whittling down a pool of 200 designs to the final red and blue stripes that we see today. The stripes created a splash during the 1966 Asian Games when Team Japan wore four shoe models under the Mexico lines – and the rest, as they say, is history.


“Shīshī” by AMIEN


To celebrate how far the stripes have come, Onitsuka Tiger will be holding a commemorative showcase, M66: Of Different Stripesat Pedder On Scotts. On top of the debut of vintage Onitsuka shoes and the display of the brand’s classic models, the exhibition will feature personal interpretations of the Mexico 66 by 50 local personalities, designers and visual artists.


“Monsters among us” by Gilda Su


It’s immediately obvious that these creatives had a field day decorating these shoes. Forcing you to look at the Mexico 66 with fresh eyes is fashion designer Gilda Su’s manipulation of the classic shoe. Covered in a myriad of colourful googly eyes and neon pink fur, these resemble little monsters more than sensible footwear. Meanwhile, fashion director Jeremy Tan puts a whimsical spin on his shoes, complete with mismatched orange and blue shoelaces, and cute stickers right out of your childhood sticker book. Custom iterations also include designs by MASH-UP, Jahan Loh, Eric Foenander, Kristal Melson and Lydia Yang AKA Oak & Bindi, among others.


From top left (clockwise): “WHATAMASHUP” by MASHUP; “Paradiso66” by Lydia Yang; “Cherry Pop” by Jahan Loh; “Moving States” by Kristal Melson



M66: Of Different Stripes happens from July 30 to August 14 at Pedder On Scotts.


Text Jerlene Ng

Images Onitsuka Tiger