Video by Six Stair Productions
Vans recently released their collaboration with Skateboarder Magazine in a pairing so natural, that it's a perfect fit. The first skate shoe meets the first skate magazine. Editor of Skateboarder, Jaime Owens, proudly explains, "Skateboarder Magazine and Vans were both huge parts of the '70s revolution in skateboarding, so it made all the sense in the world to do this collaboration and we're so thankful to be a part of the Vans brand with this line."
Since Vans first poured and pressed their waffle soles in 1966, with it's timeless style and sticky sole, they have been the shoe of choice for generations of board riders. As with legendary skateboarder, Christian Hosoi, telling the story of breaking in his first pair of Authentics: hanging out the door of his family's car, dragging the shoes along the concrete as his father drove slowly in circles around a parking lot.
In a time before skate videos, televised contests and the Internet, Skateboarder Magazine told the story of this fledgling sport and cultural phenomenon through photos and words. The formidable look of their cover layouts complimented the superlative style of the riders who graced them, like Steve Olson, Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva -- and on their feet were Vans. There's never been a time in skateboarding's history that Vans hasn't been a part of and Skateboarder wasn't chronicling.
The Vans x Skateboarder pack really breathes the history of these two skate institutions, acting as a time capsule. The apparel features original artwork from Skateboarder's vaults and historic photos from the birth of Dogtown. The t-shirts, hooded sweatshirt and vintage style Skateboarder logo tube socks all read so authentically '70's, that they could be thrift store treasures though they're available in skate shops now.
Both Vans and Skateboarder have skaters on staff and the working relationship between the brand's designers and editors was as natural as the collaboration. With so many skaters in one room, reviewing the visual history of skateboarding via Skateboarder covers, plenty of heavy skate talk preceded product development. Owens was stoked to work with skater Russ Pope, who now handles Vans Apparel Marketing. "Russ Pope and his team over at Vans went through the issues and got inspiration for the color-ways from the old Skateboarder product pages. Using the Old School and Era, that was what those guys wore back then, so it all made sense."
Coming from Vans, the jewels of the pack are the shoes. The shoe boxes alone are worth collecting. They represent an important time and the Mellow Cat cartoon tissue paper the shoes are wrapped in, which is also used on some of the apparel, is sure to force long forgotten memories to the surface for those old enough to remember.
For the collaboration Vans brought back the Mid Skool '77, which was a popular style and had graced many a cover. This incarnation features a Skateboarder logo hit on the heel cuff. The iconic silhouettes of the Old Skool and Era round out the collection in retro color combinations that recreate the look of the pioneering days of pool skating.
Today, Vans continues to innovate, while staying true to its' roots and Skateboarder Magazine's legacy of rich imagery from the '70's continues to inspire a new generation. This collection is sure to be a hit with young and old alike, so hurry up and grab a piece of skateboard history before it's gone again. To see the full collection of footwear and apparel, visit here.