When Kihachiro Onitsuka founded the brand which bears his name in 1949, he was only 31 years old, but he had certainly been places — after several years in the army, he had even worked for a company trading beer on the Japanese black market! The first years of Onitsuka Co. Ltd weren't very encouraging — the first pair of sports shoes which Kihachiro designed, for the basketball team of Kobe College, resembled straw sandals and attracted the ridicule of his teacher... But the lively Onitsuka was not fazed by these initial setbacks and began to ask the right questions. Having dreamt up the first long-distance running shoes to prevent blisters in 1953, he went on to have a stroke of brilliance in 1957 when he managed to convince Abebe Bikila, a legendary marathon runner who always ran barefoot, to wear his shoes to protect himself from the hazards of the Japanese roads. In 1977, the Onitsuka Tiger brand (the shrewd boss, who distributed the company's shares among his employees, also made the wise move of acquiring the Tiger brand) merged with other companies selling Japanese sports items to create ASICS. However, the story doesn't end there. The Onitsuka Tiger brand now offers urban sneakers, the elegant and bold stylishness of which comes from the associations of colours and materials, and the fine and elegant vintage shapes. The feminine models have the right idea of being really feminine, and the men's shoes are more fun and elegant than any offered elsewhere. Sarenza particularly loves the reworks of the football boots worn during international competitions in the 60s and 70s...
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