January 24th, 2019
When it comes to skate shoes, Vans is one of the most iconic brands. Back in the 1970s in California, a pair of Vans was the preferred choice among skateboarders because of their ruggedness and sticky sole.
It was 1977 when the Old Skool silhouette first emerged under the name “Style 36”. A random doodle of one of the company’s founders, Paul Van Doren, was to become the now famous hallmark of the Vans brand. Originally referred to as the “jazz stripe”, he decided to incorporate it in the next model and thus the side stripe was born. The Vans Old Skool was the first shoe to feature this iconic detail. But that was not all that was new. To enhance durability, which is much needed for skaters, the designers put suede leather panels on the upper and on the heel of the shoe.
There were many collaborations during the years. A partnership with Marc Jacobs put Vans Old Skool on the racks of boutiques. A joint venture with Supreme in the ’90s was the beginning of design projects which last up until now. In the same decade, Vans developed a band shoe program which dedicated Old Skool models to Slayer, Descendents, or Bad Religion. Vans became footwear which was used to express unique personality.
The Chinese sneaker brand Purlicue and Vans teamed up for the latest collaboration. Purlicue is an avant-garde sneaker brand with Su Junhua as a lead designer. Su is a former architect, just like Tinker Hatfield, the mind behind Nike’s Air Max 1. This co-brand partnership is celebrating the Chinese New Year which officially begins on February 5th and ends on February 19th. 2019 is the Year of the Pig and you could see it channeled in all four shoes, which are a part of the collection. In Chinese culture, pigs are considered as a symbol of wealth. Their chunky faces and big ears are signs of fortune as well.
Up until now, we have seen the Era with suede and canvas uppers offered in two colours including pink over black outsoles and white over red ones. The Sk8-Hi is in festive black or red with a magnified interchangeable Sidestripe.
Now new Old Skool has been added to the collection which motto is “Laid Back, Not Lazy”. Indeed the shoe is not so vibrant with its nude piggy rose colour. The upper is canvas with suede overlays while a gigantic “Off The Wall” tag is placed on the heel. The leather Jazz Stripes are black and pink and are also big and detachable. The laces are extra extra large and come in tonal colour and black. All this excessiveness is a remark on the pig’s fatness and symbolism for good luck. A co-brand graphic of a skateboarding pig is found on the insole of both sneakers. The traditional Chinese greeting “The Fat Year” is printed on the vulcanized waffle outsoles adding the final touch.
You can find The Purlicue x Vans Old Skool “Year Of The Pig” at select retailers. The price is approximately £73.
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