New York, February 18, 2013 – LACOSTE L!VE has teamed up with renowned Japanese manga team Tezuka Productions and Japanese fashion designer Hiroaki Ohya, to create an exclusive capsule collection of polos, T-shirts and footwear inspired by the cast of characters that populate Osamu Tezuka’s fabled comic series.
You can think of Osamu Tezuka as Japan’s answer to Walt Disney. The cartoonist, manga artist, animator, producer, activist (and medical doctor) was best known in Japan as the creator of Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo (Kimba the White Lion) and Black Jack. His prolific output, pioneering techniques and innovative redefinitions of genres has often earned him the name of ‘God of Manga’. Manga is the comic book or novel form of the animated televised anime that many Japanese as well as westerners are familiar with.
Since the death of Osamu, Tezuka Productions has expanded the legacy and reach of its manga, including commissioning designer Hiroaki Ohya to launch ‘Astroboy by Ohya’ in 1999. It was a fresh expression presenting messages from the world of Osamu Tezuka through the medium of fashion. Once again, Tezuka Productions has tapped Ohya to produce a new collaboration with LACOSTE L!VE.
“When I was asked to work on this collaboration, I immediately recalled of a quote from 201 Words That Help You to Open Up a Path to the Future, which Osamu Tezuka published in 2005,” Ohya explains. “Humans have had three dreams since the dawn of time. One is flight, another is transformation and the last is communicating with animals and nature.”
Ohya then hand-picked his favourite scenes from six original manga works (two representing each of the three dreams above) to create what he calls polo comics: “The stories are developed successively on the cover of the package, the front and sometimes back of the body of the polos and T-shirts and then the back of the package in the order of introduction, development, turn and conclusion,” offers the designer. “The sequels can be developed freely by men who wear the shirts. Not only people wearing the shirts but also other people around are entertained by the LACOSTE L!VE + Osamu Tezuka polo comics.”
For the Spring/Summer 2013 capsule, which hits stores in May 2013, Ohya chose The Mysterious Underground Man (flight), Astro Boy (transformation) and Black Jack (communication with nature). For the Fall/Winter 2013-2014 delivery in August, he picked The Phoenix (flight), Crime and Punishment (transformation) and Jungle Emperor Leo (communication with animals). An exclusive pair of Broadwich sneakers has been printed with scenes from Astro Boy to complement the capsule collection. There are definitely some amazing collector’s pieces in there and we can’t wait for them to come out. Attached is an It’s All Style To Me sneak peek and interview with Ohya, straight out of Lacoste headquarters in New York City. $75 t-shirts, $165 polos.
Photos/Video: Spiro Mandylor, Olympus Visionary
Product Photos: Lacoste