Jeff Han has been called the godfather of Chinese skateboarding. He is well-known in international streetwear circles and had his likeness printed on a pair of Nike SB Blazers back in 2007. His shor, FLY, has been open for nearly 20 years and back in 2014, they collaborated on a couple of Shanghai exclusive Syndicates. For 2016, they are really kicking it up a notch with one of the most amazingly executed pairs we have seen in a long time.
The ruby cake, or "红宝石蛋糕" in Chinese, is a staple of Shanghai desserts. The vanilla cakes is traditionally covered in white cream and topped with a cherry, which is where the colloquial "ruby" name comes from. Jeff and FLY wanted to pay homage to the dessert by creating a shoe with similar looks. The pure-white premium leather upper sits on top of a cream midsole with pure white toe bumper. A pure white foxing stripe adds an extra bit of detail and simulates the icing a baker might pipe onto the cake. The woven Vans tongue tage is in red which reminds us of the cherry on top of the cake. The embossed FLY logo on the heel counter is a great detail.
The Sk8 Hi is really excellent but the packaging of this piece is what sets it apart. The shoes come stowed inside the type of packaging you expect to find a ruby cake in. The bakery style package includes a cream bottom and clear plastic top with a branded FLY paper band securing it all together. These are extremely nice and unfortunately only available at the FLY shop during the launch.
The Vans x FLY Sk8 Hi "Ruby Cake" is available now from FLY Streetwear in Shanghai. No US release is planned.