Skate

Supreme

Supreme x Vans Old Skool Pro 'Iridescent'

Supreme partners with Vans for the second time this year. This time, choosing and Old Skool Pro as their silhouette, Supreme went with a cotton bouclé upper on the sidewalls which creates a terry like texture. 

The material used on the jazz stripe is a mirror-like iridescent fabric which gives a reflective shine. Available in blue, orange, white, and black.

The Supreme x Vans Old Skool Pro 'Iridescent' will be available exclusively at Supreme in-store in NY, LA, London, and Paris as well as on-line this Thursday, May 26th.  Available in Japan on May 29th. 

Skate

Supreme x Vans Era "Motion Logo"

Last week, we posted some leaked photos from a japanese publications of an upcoming Supreme collaboration that was rumored to drop this week. This morning, we awoke to confirmation emails regarding the Supreme x Vans Era "Motion Logo." There isn't much to say about the shoes themselves: they are Era Pro's in the classic colorways of red, blue, black, and white with the very popular Supreme motion logo on stamped on the midsole. The white pair opts for a royal blue foxing stripe which give it a very OG feel while the other three go the more contemporary black. Other than that, the shoes are basically the same. What we can talk about, though, is the concept.

ICYMI, this is a big year for Vans. And with that in mind, they have really been reaching back into their archives and putting out shoes that look like they could've been released in the 1970's or 80s. When Vans did collaborations in days gone by, this is what many looked like: a basic upper with branding on the midsole. There have been a lot of rumblings in the forum, Reddit,  and on our Instagram about how simple or lazy this design is, as if those two words are interchangeable. For my part, I couldn't disagree more. I just hope that everybody calling these wack sleeps in on Thursday so I can get that white pair without too much heartache.

The Supreme x Vans Era "Motion Logo" will release on Thursday, March 3rd, exclusively at Supreme stores in NY, LA, and London as well as online. A release in Japan is schedule for March 5th. 

Syndicate

Andy Kessler x Vans Syndicate Sk8 Hi Reissue NYC 'S'

Vans has finally given us details about the Andy Kessler Syndicate reissue of his iconic Sk8 Hi. Changes to this model include updated materials and a higher foxing. We get a really nice mix of premium leather and nubuck on the upper and the all blacked out Off the Wall tongue tag is a great detail. 

This sneaker is really more than just a sneaker. It's an homage to Kessler. And I would really like that to be the focus of this article. Tony Farmer did a beautiful write up for Vans about Andy Kessler's legacy. I know a lot of you are too young to remember who he was or witness the impact he had on skate culture, so if you have the time, I urge you to read Tony's words. 

Via Vans.com:

Nothing beats an untimely death in securing one Legend status. Suddenly you’re larger than you ever were in real life, everyone is your tight bro from way back when, and no one speaks a negative word. Was Kess truly a legend? The godfather of skateboarding in New York City? Maybe, maybe not. Reality most likely lies somewhere in the margins. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is what he did and how he did it. These are the things I can speak to. 

Kessler paid his dues. He cheated death on more than a few occasions. Coming out the other end, he made it a mission to give back. Or, when necessary, to take back. He guided many a soul through the trials of recovery from substance abuse. He raised hell at board meetings and got skate parks built in a city devoid of them. He mentored kids, and busted people’s balls. He was beloved, and despised. He knew EVERYONE. He was my friend, and miss him every damn day.

I don’t pretend to know his whole story. I’d like to think that no one does. He ran in a lot of different circles, overlapping and intersecting and binding otherwise dissimilar people together in the process. He was a skater, foremost. What else? A junkie, miscreant, hell raiser, pool shark, Zappa fan, shit talker, sponsor, goon in Guatemalan pants, surfer, brother, adopted son, angry Greek bastard, perv, sticker collector, Thrasher cover star and kite flying enthusiast.

I don’t know all his stories. But I’ve got a personal cache that I cherish, moments that come and go in my head as I wander the streets of this great city.

If there be an underlying theme to Kess’ tale, it would be one of perseverance. The myriad stories that I am privy to, from the minor ones I experienced firsthand to the ever-growing legends spun by word of mouth, are all sewn together by the common threads of survival and dedication. From minor political victories to life changing influences, his stories run the gamut. 

Kess spent countless hours in board meetings fighting to get skate parks built in New York City. I’ve been to a couple of these, and they are brutal. Both mind numbingly boring and exasperatingly frustrating given the layer upon layer of red tape and bureaucratic bullshit. I can’t stomach them, but Kess would never let up. He bashed his thick skull against the wall of the Parks Department for years on end, and he got shit done. They might not be the best parks in the country, but they were progress, and the momentum he helped to create has delivered us unto spots like Chelsea Piers. It’s a damn shame he never got to ride a proper skate park in his City after all the years he spent suffering without.

The fact that he was skating at all is amazing. It wasn’t that long ago that the idea of 50 year old men still skating on a high level seemed absurd. Of course, it’s become quite common: see Tony Alva, Steve Alba, Lance Mountain, etc. Still, when your over forty and suffer a severe leg injury like a broken hip, it’s understandable if one decides he’s had enough and hangs it up. Sure, maybe he still jumps on a cruiser board to run down to the store, but only a true blue skater is coming back from that and pushing himself in the bowl as if it never happened within a year’s time. I am not going to lie, those first few sessions with Kess afterwards were worrisome. But he was as hell bent as ever, calling the crew, rallying the sesh, and I’m claiming dude cracked the best frontside air of his life post-op at Autumn. Ask Olson, he’ll tell you the same. I’ll steal a line from their pal Jocko Weyland: when was Kess gonna grow up and quit skating? The Answer was Never.

As skaters, we are often blind to the fact that the real world exists around us. We see everything through the lens of a skater, sometimes oblivious to other concerns. While Kess’ contributions to the skate scene in New York cannot be understated, it must be heralded that he managed to do a lot more important and impressive work elsewhere in the community. Andy was a recovering addict. I never knew the Kess of old; the junkie thief fuck-up. This town is littered with stories of those that kept on spinning right down the drain. Andy had every opportunity to keep using and wind up in the joint or, more likely, wake up in the gutter dead. But he didn’t. He got himself sorted out and sobered up. He was ever “clean,” he always bristled at that term. He was still a dirty old bastard, but he was sober the entire time I knew him. As impressive as that is (especially given the 24 hours of opportunity to blow it that this town presents), the real story is what he did for others. A big part of the Program is sponsorship; those who are sober lending a helping hand to others who are new to recovery, as well as those who have fallen off and are coming back. Andy always had someone he was looking out for, getting them to meetings and being a friend. I don’t pretend to know how many he helped, how many stayed true or how many he lost. But I do know that he literally died trying, with a dear friend and repeat junkie sleeping in his bed as he passed away.

Let’s not end it there. Like I said, his legacy is one of keep on keeping on, of not giving in, nor giving up. I’ll share one of my personal favorites about my guy. Kess died on the east end of Long Island, in Montauk. He’d been focusing on learning how to surf during the last few years of his life. Surfing is not easy, trust me. Skaters often make the mistake of thinking that the skills translate, that they’ll be ripping in no time at all. That’s what I thought. I was wrong. Like most anything worthwhile, it takes thousands of hours of practice to master. It is also something best learned at a young age (as I did). I give a lot of respect to people who pick it up as adults and manage a degree of competence. Kess was driven to feel as free and comfortable in the water as he did on his skate. He picked my brain about surfing’s nuances, all the little pieces that put you in the right place at the right time, like being tucked in the barrel with your buddy paddling over shoulder throwing you a shaka. (That sounds utterly ridiculous, but it’s true.) Anyway, the weekend before Kess passed there were waves. The two of us hiked down the beach to escape the crowds. The moment he started paddling out I knew he was fucked, that the current was going suck him into the rocks and he was gonna get drilled. I adjusted my entry point, and made the line up fairly easily. Meanwhile, Kess was getting his head beat in as set after set rolled over him. Each short lull he’d make some progress, only to be denied by another set wave. I couldn’t help but laugh as he screamed with frustration. After a long beat down I could see him back on the beach. The poor bastard had given up, and now had to sit and watch. But next thing I knew Andy Kessler came paddling up to me with a big “FUCK YOU, FARMER!” He told me there was no way that he was gonna sit there a watch me surf my brains out without him. I was so happy for him, proud even. He had every reason to give up; the waves were borderline beyond his ability, he had the wrong board and he was old and tired. But he made it out and scored some great waves. He might still be a barney in many eyes, but as far as I was concerned, he was a surfer at last.

I fancy myself a New Yorker nowadays, and part of that claim comes by way of Andy Kessler. He was the first true New Yorker to embrace me, take me under his wing and show me the City in different lights. From swerving down the avenues through rush hour traffic, to quiet bites at Sidewalk talking story, the New York that I know and love was shaped through Kess’ eyes. Thanks for the aloha, pal. I hope I see you on the other side.


The Andy Kessler x Vans Syndicate Sk8 Hi Reissue NYC 'S' is scheduled to release at Vans Syndicate retailers this month and may already be on the shelves at your local dealer.

Shred in peace, Andy. 

Shred in peace, Andy. 

Skate

Golf Wang x Vans Pro Classics Old Skool

Love them or hate them, both iterations of the Golf Wang Syndicate collaborations were scooped up by collectors and resellers as soon as they hit store shelves. We held off on posting leaks of these for a couple of reasons. A major one being that there were never any high quality images and the few clear shots we did see were wrought with speculation. Thanks to Silo, we now have the hi-def images we were waiting for.

In some ways, this collection of yellow, pink, blue, and orange Old Skools are exactly what you have come to expect from Golf Wang: the loud choice of colors and embroidered "GOLF WANG" on the heel counter. In other ways, they are a little different: the choice of debuting the Vans Pro Classics instead of the twice used Syndicate silhouette. However you feel about them, they know their demographic and they play to that well.

The Golf Wang x Vans Pro Classics Old Skool will release this Saturday, August 29th at Silo, both in-store and online. Check your local core skate shop for availability. 

Is this another nail in the coffin of Syndicate? Let us know what you think.

Skate

Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection

Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection

We have all been waiting patiently for Vans to announce what they their plan was for their upcoming Golden Jubilee. In case you haven't been paying attention, our beloved brand is turning 50 next year. And it looks like they are pulling out the stops. We are happy to bring you a peek at the Vans Pro Classics line that will consist of the most iconic classics from milestone eras and pro skaters, all with upgraded tech for comfort and skate. Here is what we are so excited about.

Duke Kahanamoku helped spread surfing throughout the world. This Hawaiian surf legend, actor, and five-time Olympic medalist handed Vans founder, Paul Van Doren, the shirt off his back to make custom shoes. The Authentic Pro ’66 celebrates Duke’s iconic Aloha print and his legendary meeting with Paul Van Doren.

As one of the original members of the ’70s Z Boys skateboard team, Peggy Oki revolutionized the sport alongside other skate pioneers, including Stacy Peralta and Tony Alva. The Authentic Pro ’74 commemorates the Zephyr team’s explosion into the skateboard scene at the 1974 Del Mar Classic.

An original Z-Boy, filmmaker, and co-founder of Powell Peralta Skateboards, Stacy Peralta brought his skate expertise into the design of Vans’ classic Era style in 1976. The Era Pro ’76 combines next generation function with the classic style of the first-ever Vans “Off the Wall” shoe.

Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection

One of the most innovative skateboarders of all time, Tony Alva brought his brash, aggressive influence and ideas to create modern skate culture. The Mid Skool ’79 continues what T.A. started—skater-driven design built for progression.

Vans’ most iconic style was introduced to the world in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. California’s youth culture, along with the Classic Slip-On, became a widespread phenomenon … thanks to a surfer and his kicks. Jeff Spicoli’s classic checkerboard Slip-On goes Pro with the Slip-On Pro ’82.

Christian Hosoi combined raw power, incredible style, and a larger-than-life persona to take skateboarding from relative obscurity in the early ’80s to soaring global popularity by the end of the decade.The double checkerboard Sk8-HiPro ’83 recreates an iconic early colorway of the Sk8-Hi that cameto be known as the quintessential skate shoe of the ’80s.

Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection

One of the first Freestyle BMX superstars, Eddie Fiola dominated the circuit and promoted this young sport to new levels of recognition. The Era Pro ’83 goes retro in red, white and blue—just like Eddie wore in his famous Vans ad.

The Iron Man of Freestyle BMX, Dennis McCoy pioneered the sport and turned pro in 1986—and hasn’t stopped competing since! Upgraded to Pro standards, the Sk8-Hi Pro ’86 features its most iconic colorway from the ’80s

The Vans BMX team forfeited a national pro-level competition so they could perform the Helltrack race scenes and stunts in Rad, a cult classic tribute to BMX culture. A star is born … again. This film’s original Authentic is reinvented with modern Pro upgrades as the Authentic Pro ’86.

Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection-1.jpg

From the Santa Cruz team in the ’80s to Black Label in the ’90s and AntiHero today, Jeff Grosso bleeds skateboarding. Jeff’s custom black & white twotone Sk8-Hi is reproduced with modernized Pro construction as the Sk8-Hi Pro ’87.

Already a legend, Steve Caballero brought a higher level of functionality to the design of the first signature skateboarding shoe in 1989. The new revolution of street skaters adopted the Caballero, customizing it into what became the most iconic skate shoe of the ’90s—the “lighter, better, faster” Half Cab® in 1993. The Caballero Pro ’89 is upgraded to modern specs in its iconic original burgundy with croc emboss colorway.

Ray Barbee helped define the culture and style of modern skateboarding by bringing skaters from backyard ramps to city streets. This pioneer of smooth style influenced an entire generation with his effortless, relaxed approach and positive attitude. The Old Skool Pro ’92 reintroduces the iconic white/black colorway and sleek shape from the early ’90s, upgraded to Pro functionality and cushioning.

Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection

Unbridled enthusiasm, energy, and the ability to skate anything and everything with complete commitment, John Cardiel changed skateboarding … and his legendary skating will be revered for generations to come. The Chukka Boot ’93 transports the past into the future with an upgraded Pro construction in a nostalgic ’90s colorway.

Proving that fashion and function can work together, Geoff Rowley’s first Vans signature shoe emphasized grip and boardfeel, allowing him to go full throttle while staying in complete control as one of the most influential skateboarders of all time. The Rowley Pro ’00 is reinvented with Pro functionality in the original all-black colorway.

The Vans 50th Anniversary Pro Classics Collection will be available beginning in Spring 2016 and release throughout the anniversary year. Keep it tuned here for more information on these historic colorways as they become available.

Skate

Nibwaakaawin x Pendleton x Vans 2015 All Nations Skate Jam Collection

Each year, the All Nations Skate Project produces the “All Nations Skate Jam" (ANSJ), the largest and most prestigious skateboard competition for Native youth. ANSJ brings together Native-American skate companies, youth groups, non-profit organizations, skaters, musicians, dancers, artists, filmmakers, traditional craft vendors, contemporary artisans, and many others in a two-day festival and skate competition. The goal of the ANSJ is to give the reservation, pueblo, urban, and suburban Native youth a central gathering place to meet and celebrate their diverse Native cultures while competing in skateboarding.

Every year, Vans teams up with New Mexico non-profit Nibwaakaawin and Pendleton Woolen Mills to create limited editions sneakers for this event. This years collection consists of two styles each of the Half Cab, Old Skool, and Slip On as well as one colorway of the Sk8 Hi, All pairs feature unique weaves from Pendleton implemented into their design.

The leftover stock from the Nibwaakaawin 2015 All Nations Skate Jam is available now in very limited supply at All Nations Gear.

Skate

Antihero x Vans Sk8 Mid Pro

Via Vans:

OVERVIEW Part of the Vans x Antihero Collaboration, the Antihero Sk8-Mid Pro, a midtop take on the legendary high top and updated for enhanced performance, features a premium suede upper with original sidestripe, UltraCush HD Sockliners for advanced cushioning, and Duracap™ Toe Bumper and Upper Ollie Underlays for increased durability and extra reinforcement where needed most. This Pro Classic most definitely has Vans Original Rubber Waffle Outsole for increased support and stability.

The Antihero x Vans Sk8 Mid Pro is available at core skate shops around the globe now.