SMITH’S EXTRA STEPS: The “Bad Boys for Life” trailer isn’t the only new film teaser with Will Smith in it.
The “Men in Black” actor took the lead for a 44-second short released today by Onitsuka Tiger, which is celebrating its 70-year anniversary with a host of special tie-ins. As the brand’s freshly minted collaboration partner, Smith is joining forces with his first Japanese label. Playing the part, Smith is tough to miss in Onitsuka Tiger’s signature yellow, and Mexico 66 SD sneakers. Within seconds of the start of the 44-second flick, Smith’s legs appear to grow “Jack in the Beanstalk”-like and he is seen stepping over the Brooklyn Bridge, dancing in front of the Great Pyramids and flying through the skies on a gargantuan eagle. At another point, Smith appears to be aloft in a hot air balloon that looks like his face.
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As is the case with pretty much every celebrity endorsement, this film is all about branding and self-promotion. The Japanese brand noted that Smith is linked to various projects including ones that take on environmental issues. It is safe to say his 36.9 million Instagram followers didn’t hurt the cause either. Smith’s latest film appearance can be found exclusively on social media — both his and Onitsuka Tiger’s official accounts, as well as the latter’s site.
Onitsuka Tiger’s 70th anniversary celebration includes collaborations with seven designers. Takayuki Chino, designer and winner of the 2019 Tokyo Fashion Award, was the first in July, followed by Christian Dada designer Masanori Morikawa in August. Staffonly’s Shimo Zhou and Une Yea are doing the honors this month; Kathleen Hanhee Kye will take on October, as will Sulvam designer Teppei Fujita in November. The seventh designer has yet to be disclosed.
The company also unveiled a 5,060-square-foot flagship last month in Shanghai to showcase a full range of men’s, women’s and children’s footwear, and children’s apparel. And just last week the brand was among the 150 companies at Shanghai’s influential streetwear festival Yohood. “Youthquake” was the theme of this year three-day event that caters to fashion-hungry Gen Z.