Japanese tire company’s trendy tire print yukata prints rev back into the limelight

Far from their traditional association with burnt rubber, squealing brakes and gritty endurance, tires lend a spot of delicate geometry to these kimono prints.

May tends to mark the end of spring in Japan, which in many parts of the country means the slow but inevitable climb upwards to the muggy, steaming climes of summer. And that temperature upswing is the perfect excuse to break out a classic piece of clothing: the yukata, a breezier style of unline kimono, typically made of a breathable fabric such as cotton or synthetic fiber.

Yukata are a booming business in the summer, with affordable brands selling simple yet cute sets and designer labels touting all manner of themed tie-ins and glamorous alternatives. Browse enough stores and you might feel you’ve seen every kind of classy geometric print the kimono has to offer… But you would be wrong.

Enter Toyo Tires, who we’ve featured before for their snappy promotional videos. The ad in question ran in 2014, but gained a new lease of life when the Twitter account @inspi_com, an archive of “Ads/Copywriting/Design/Art”, featured the prints in a tweet.

▼ “Aren’t these Toyo Tires tire-print kimonos incredible?”

A helpful commenter provided the link for the ad itself, so a new generation could ooh and ahh over the high production and – naturally – the beautiful kimonos on display.

Unfortunately, as sharp as Toyo Tires’ fashion sensibilities were, they missed a real trick with this campaign: namely in that the yukata were not actually for sale at any point in time between 2014 and now, though models sporting the prints were seen at numerous press events.

It feels like we’re due for some tire art revival, considering all the attention these yukata received. And with all kinds of new takes on classic fashion already launched this year, 2019 is revving up to be something exciting!

Give it a share: