Vans' premium line, Vault, has dabbled into exotics previously. We've seen country-western style pony hair as well as premium ostrich drape the well-known skate silos. For spring, Vault moves on to one another tier in the exotic leather market with the Stingray Collection.
Most people don't know that Vans doesn't source their animal skins from typical leather suppliers. The hides used on their shoes are almost always byproducts of the food industry. For these Authentics, Vans sent their buyers to Thailand with the US Fish and Wildlife Association to source the ray skin from farms. Vans paid for the selection, inspection, and certification of every skin before production began.
The Authentics will come in two colorways, burgundy and black. The uppers are monochromatic stingray leather with a matching. Each features a stripeless, white midsole and white diamond on the toe cap. The white "eye" is painted over the highest part of the stingray leather (over its back) and it used by tanneries to hide the wearing away of the natural caviar-like beads on the ray leather. The white dye will hide the raised areas bumps and scrapes that will surely happen over the lifetime of the product. These pairs are real gems, and because of the painstaking process to create them, only 250 of each color will be made available.
The Vault by Vans Authentic LX Stingray Collection will be available in-store only at select Vault by Vans retailers like BLENDS tomorrow, January 28th. Retail is $350.