In honor of Black History Month, Vans has tapped four Black rising artists for custom takes on classic silhouettes. Three of the artists included selected the Slip On while one opted to work on the Authentic, but each original design offers a deeply personal ethos and bold look.
First up is Detroit-based Sydney G. James, a fine artist and muralist whose vivid graphic shows a Black woman peeking through a camouflage-like green shroud. Next, multimedia artist and graphic designer Rewina Beshue from San Francisco presents a wavy, optical illusion-inspired black and white design atop the Authentic.
Oakland-based artist Chris Martin opts for a stark white and black Slip On, with an American Traditional-style dove breaking away from chains while carrying a cotton bough in its beak, and visual artist Tony Whlgn — who’s created album art for Big K.R.I.T. and Joey Bada$$ as well as worked in design at KITH — supplies a black Slip On with a sublimated design under a white tropical-style toebox graphic.
To further the collection’s message, Vans will also be donating $40K USD to the Black Art Futures Fund. The company’s “Foot the Bill” program is continuing as well, as Vans is spotlighting three Black-owned businesses each week of February via custom shoes and apparel.
All four artist designs are available at the Vans webstore now, with prices ranging from $90-$95 USD.
Elsewhere in the world of footwear, check out the latest installment of HYPEBEAST‘s Sole Mates series — featuring Chinatown Market founder Mike Cherman and the visvim Christo.