An Orange County staple, Vans seems to be an obligatory part of any outfit for various Orange County stereotypes—skaters, punks, BMXers, cholos, surfers, etc. The company with the classic waffled-sole shoes opened its first store in Anaheim in 1966, and its headquarters are currently in Cypress . . . so, really, it doesn't get much more Orange County.
Lately, though, Vans has been stepping up its game beyond footwear—and Orange County. It's no longer known as just a shoe line, but a clothing-and-accessories company as well. This summer alone, Vans is releasing a number of collaborations worthy of your attention.
JESSE JO X VANS
What were you doing at 19? Jesse Jo probably has you trumped: Head designer of jewelry for celeb favorite Chrome Hearts, the teen has showed up in more than one Cobrasnake photo (hey, remember him?) and has teamed up with Vans for a capsule line of accessories, footwear, tees and shorts. A standout are the modified creepers—something we've seen in the collections of Sonia Rykiel, Opening Ceremony and Prada Spring/Summer 2011 borrowing from the punk/ska/rockabilly subculture we're all-too-familiar with around here. The affordable line, which ranges from $6 to $58, is available in stores now.
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HELLO KITTY X VANS
What's that? Not enough Hello Kitty, you say? In a move surprising only in that such a thing didn't already exist, Sanrio has teamed up with Vans to release a limited-edition collection. There's a Classic Slip-On with the iconic black-and-white checkerboard dotted with Hello Kitty heads and bows, the lace-up low-top Classic Authentics and hi-top Sk8 Hi D-Lo with an all-over pastel print. The Hello Kitty Vans collection will range from $25 to $55 and will be available in June at Vans stores, the Vans online store at Vans.com and Vans dealers, as well as select Sanrio Boutique Stores and Sanrio.com.
APC X VANS
Yep, there's one more: Vans has also paired up with one of my favorite lines, contemporary French brand APC, for the cleanest collection of the group. Available only in the Authentic and Chukka styles, these shoes feature zero branding or patterns and are available in either beige or white. The low-tops are available in a stark white with pastel pink, blue or green trim and are the costliest of the group, coming in at $85 to $90 and available at flagship APC Stores.
This column appeared in print as "Off the Wall and Onto Your Feet."