As a baseline, a standard pair of Vans is cool af. They just are. Authentic since 1966, the classic California skate shoes have established themselves as staples of West Coast awesomeness. It’s a massive brand that never lost one iota of rad in expanding over the years, and in part, this is due to some epic unions with artists and brands.
The latest partnership is a collab with seminal hip-hop collective A Tribe Called Quest and Sony Music’s merchandising company The Thread Shop. Vans is celebrating the group’s contributions to art, music, and style (plus beats, rhymes, and life) by riffing on their staggering cultural influence in footwear designs. Song lyrics and album cover art are reimagined to highlight the mark A Tribe Called Quest left on the 90s zeitgeist and beyond.
The collection includes a variety of Classic Vans silhouettes including the Slip-On, UltraRange, Old Skool, Authentic, Sk8-Hi and Era in vibrant colors and prints. And, you don’t have to look very hard to see the band’s discography in full effect. With embroidery from the album title, the Slip-On is all about the cover artwork from We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service. If you are more down with The Anthology album artwork, you will be all about the Old Skool with a classic black-on-black colorway.
The Era goes more big picture by employing an allover graphic print of every album cover released between 1990 and 2016. And, who doesn’t love some Bonita Applebaum? That track makes the Sk8-Hi flipping amazing, with the quarter panels, laces, and lining covered in lyrics. The Authentic, meanwhile, pays homage to the late Phife Dawg, who passed in 2015. The newest silhouette, the UltraRange is done up in black leather uppers with contrasting red stripe.
The Vans x A Tribe Called Question collaboration ranges in price from $37 to $85 and launches globally on April 6. If you live in New York, you can hit up a two-day pop up event at House of Vans Brooklyn. It’s a two-day music and shopping experience with early access to shop the collection. You can RSVP at House of Vans.