Reviewed & updated: October 19, 2022 by Jamie Wilson BA
From the decks of California in 1966 to the feet of stylised models today – Vans is no doubt a rising star in the sneakerhead circle. From the SK8-Hi to the Old Skool, we take a look at Van’s most memorable collaborations from The Beatles to the new Peanut 2017 range.
Representing the community of skate subcultures, Vans is one of the most anticipated sneaker brands today. Recognised within the blogger industry as one of the ‘must-have’ shoe brands, it’s no doubt the label has grown in popularity over the years. For that, we wanted to celebrate their cool and collected presence, and of course their very own 50th anniversary. It seems like Van’s have tapped into almost every pop culture or co-label for a collaboration so we have taken a look a the weird and wonderful collaborations Vans have done.
Tyler the Creator x Odd Future x Vans
To kick off the list, let’s start with a collaboration that has left us all in relief. I mean, didn’t we expect this anticipated collab sooner? Tyler the Creator AKA the leading member of Odd Future, teamed up with the shoe providing the most colourful Van’s trainer yet. Following his 2015 collaboration of vibrant Old Skools, Tyler introduces doughnuts, colourful palettes, premium suede canvas and true classic GOLF design to the sk8- and Authentic models. With only a few available it was no surprise that this exclusive line sold out fast.
Kenzo x Vans Fall 2013
Moving on with our colourful lineup is Vans ongoing collaborations with Kenzo. Being a fashion label which is known to elevate print and pattern, it’s no doubt this collaboration was due. Starting in 1970, the French Luxury brand has been providing an innovative design on and off the catwalk, so it’s always exciting to see what they bring to the table.
Presenting the Vans x Kenzo Fall 2013 collection. Changing the game in the authentic, chukka and slip-on, this collection is the ultimate mix-up of the classic vans shoes and exciting print that Kenzo continues to bring.
Supreme SS16 x Vans
Another ongoing collaborative is Supreme and Vans. With their running streak of collaborations, it’s difficult to choose which one we want for our sneaker collection. From the Motion Logo Vans to Public Enemy, Supreme have constantly provided the sleekest of sneakers. When it comes to picking, we’re spoilt for choice. However, like all things out of the ordinary – we are definitely fanatics of the 2016 Supreme collection. Remixing the standard Old Skool, the SS16 collection features leather linings, cotton boucle upper bodies and exclusively, holographic silver jazz stripe.
In colourways of blue, coral, white and black and it’s memorable take on the Old Skool by the streetwear giants, this collaboration is one of our favourites. So if you are lucky enough to see a pair floating about – make sure to add them to your collection.
Stussy x Vans Vault SS14
Part of the shoes contemporary sub-label, Vans Vault’s are the alternative to shoe model archive. With a heavy focus on music, art and culture it’s just as expected they collaborated with premium streetwear brand Stussy. As part of SS14, Vans Vault and Stussy came together to create an exclusive (yet colourful) collection, consisting of the nostalgic Sk8-Hi, the Old Skool and Authentic.
Think red stripes, snooker balls, skulls, bones, and lime green, this collection is a vibrant turn for both brands. Additionally, it exclusively features the Stussy Tom Tom print, originally designed by Shawn Stussy in 1986. Also featuring the iconic double S Stussy label within the tongue – this is a collector’s favourite for any sneakerhead.
The Beatles Yellow Submarine x Vans
Considered as one of the most influential rock bands of all time it was only a matter of time before Van collaborated. In celebration of their 50th anniversary of their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Yellow Submarine collection is mixes some of their classic silhouettes, artwork, and of course their faces to produce these colourful trainers. The colourful scenes and ‘All You Need Is Love’ print is the perfect collectors piece, especially when it comes in a custom collector’s box.
Star Wars x Vans
Of course we can’t forget of the biggest pop culture collaborations of 2014. Vans are known to jump on the movie-board and happily present shoes for any film fanatic. With the Force Awakens being released in 2015, it was no doubt Van’s decided to fill the void. Featuring Storm Troopers, beloved Yoda, and the famous Stars Wars Return of the Jedi Poster – this was an exciting take on the movie franchise. Designed with a modern twist of Hawaiian flowers aka ‘Aloha Yoda’ and camo print, the Star Wars essence is brought to a more contemporary light. Available in the Van favourites of Era, Slip-On, Half Cab and Sk8-Hi, the collection is what you need to be wearing for those Star Wars film nights.
430 “DOUBLE DECADE” x Vans
If you’re not into such a colourful shoe, let’s mention that we can’t get enough of 430 collections. In celebration of their 20th anniversary, 430 curated another collaboration with Vans. Coincidentally, the Californian brand was also celebrating their 50th anniversary, so I guess it’s a match made in heaven?
The special edition of the Old Skool features an all black look – including the jazz stripe. Rubber foxing laces and checkboard footbed brings this collaboration close to Van’s original roots. In addition, the collective has also released matching coach jacket and t-shirt, so you can’t say they don’t treat you.
Peanuts x Vans
The newest Vans collaboration features Snoopy and the Peanuts gang. This ongoing collaboration has brought us many a shoe, but the newest collab shows a selection of vintage illustrations available on Sk8-Hi, Old Skool, Authentic, Slip-On, as well as even flip-flops and slides making this the biggest collection yet. Mixing blacks and whites with splashes of colour and illustration make these new trainers a collectors new found favourite. The Slip-On’s are busy with recognisable faces covering the outside of the shoe while the Sk8-Hi kept the colour palette simple and opted for Snoopy’s face and drawings along the sides.
How to Wear Your Vans
If you are lucky enough to nab a pair of Vans from the list above, you’re probably wondering ‘what’s the best way to wear them?’ From the Star Wars to the 430’s, styling your Vans could never be easier. To finish off our ongoing celebration for the label, providing the ‘gnarliest’ of sneakers, we have put together the definitive guide on how to get the best out of your Vans for any occasion.
How to Wear Vans Old Skool
The Old Skool is the signature model out of Van’s circle. Released in 1977, just over a decade after the label was born, the Old Skool has become a timeless shoe to the Vans label. Originally named as “Style 36” the trainer is known for it’s iconic ‘jazz’ stripe, and black lower and upper body. Stapled with the Vans memorable logo on the footbed and finished with an all white sole, it’s no wonder why they are an classic to the brand.
Carefully built for the throw around of skateboarding, the Old Skool Trainer is one of the most durable shoes of the clan. While it’s vast popularity has grown since the 1970’s, it seems unlikely the Old Skool won’t be leaving anytime soon. As a sweet deal as the Old Skool sounds, it’s great to know it’s one of the most versatile trainers out the archive. For us, the shoes create the perfect streetwear premium look. When opting your Vans Old Skools, pair the shoes with a black slim jean with a layered camo jacket over a black tee.
How to Wear Vans Sk8-Hi
Being the superior model to the Old Skool, the Sk8-Hi are the ultimate shoe for any skateboarder. With a quilted collar and same build as the Old Skool, you know it’s built to last you the rough and rubble. With a leather pull tab and metal eyelets, this is the shoe to wear with your jeans and striped tee combo. On that note, pair your Sk8-Hi with a pair of straight cut black denim jeans, a striped basic T-shirt and your Vans trainers.
How to Wear Vans Authentic
Bring back the feeling of summer with the Authentic Vans trainer. With a low-rise on the ankle and a simpler construction as compared to the Old Skool and Sk8-Hi, it’s our spring/summer favourite every year. Proudly known as the first of many in 1966, the Authentic trainer is the nostalgic addition to the Vans archive. Available in crazy colourways and collaborations over the past 50 years, the Authentic is the Vans shoe for any collector.
When it comes to dressing the Authentic, make sure to keep it simple – just like the shoe! Tapping into the reasoning for summer, pair the shoe with a pair of black trousers or chinos and complete the look with the classic denim shirt for the go-to summer look.
How to Wear Vans Slip-On
The Van’s Slip-On Trainer is the cool and collected member of the Vans club. The name pretty much explains itself right? Easy to slip on in the mornings, it’s the trainer between convenience and comfort. Unforgettably labelled for the emo-culture of the 2000’s, the shoe has stayed on top as one of the most used designs for the label.
Available in endless colourways and collaboratives, the Slip-On is again, a classic for the brand. On the other hand, when it comes to opting for the Slip-On, take advantage for it’s simplicity in construction. If you are wanting to incorporate your Vans into a smarter look, pair your Slip-Ons with slim blue jeans and button up white shirt to keep it simple.
Your Quick Guide to Van’s Collaborations
- Vans are famous for unpredictable collaborations. From collectives to artists and pop culture – there is always a collab for everyone’s inner fan.
- No matter what you opt for, when building your outfit always take consideration of the model of the shoe. We promise it makes the whole lot of a difference!
- With many more collaborations due out, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for the brand – especially when your a sneaker fanatic like us.
On that Note
With collaboration after collaboration – it’s essentially the brand that never sleeps. Whether you are sneakerhead or just adore the brand for that they stand for, keep yourself in the loop; even if that means you buy a new pair every week. Don’t worry we’ll never tell!
Still looking for inspiration, then checkout this blog post about shoe collaborations.
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