karl lagerfeld x vans

Karl Lagerfeld x Vans Is The Ultimate High-Low Fashion Mashup

Vans has an impressive history when it comes to fashion collaborations. They’re one of those exceptional brands that somehow manage to always work with the biggest and best partners. Just look at this lineup. In the company’s famed history, they’ve co-produced Opening Ceremony x Vans, Disney x Vans, and the uber-exclusive The Beatles Yellow Submarine x Vans. Yet, despite all these impressive feats, none quite compare to Vans newest partnership with the legendary leader behind Chanel’s post-Coco resurgence. That’s right, in one of the wildest high-low fashion mashups we’ve ever seen, Mr. Lagerfeld is joining up with the king of street shoes for a Karl Lagerfeld x Vans collection that’s sure to knock your tube socks off. Very little has been revealed about the collection yet other than the release date (Sept. 7) and black-and-white logo, so here are some other high-fashion collaborations from Vans to comfort you while we wait for more details.

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It was the first official encounter Vans had with the world of high fashion. Before Marc, the brand focused most of their collaborative efforts on pop culture stars and big name companies. After all, as much as we loved the Disney x Vans collab in the 80s or their rock-and-rebel 90s shoe from Motörhead, they were far from runway worthy. Marc Jacobs brought epic 3D patterning and sleek, fresh materials to the table in 2005, giving Vans premium-priced sneakers they could market to a brand new high-end audience.

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Once Marc Jacobs demonstrated that Vans made excellent stylish footwear, other big fashion house saw potential in the skate shoe company. One of these houses was Comme des Garçons under the guidance of Raf Simons. Working with the newly formed Colette Meets in 2005, Raf formed a rare triple collab to bring the world slip-ons printed with graphics from his ’03 “Consumed” collection. With only 100 pairs made, these shoes are usually a collector’s item more often shelved than worn.

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Graphic designer Peter Saville is no stranger to the world of casual fashion. His memorable work has been featured on shoes and tops for decades. Yet, it wasn’t until the folks at Supreme presented the idea of using his floral artwork on Vans sneakers that Saville gained international status. These shoes probably contributed to fashion’s recent obsession with florals and made Saville’s imitation of the French painting “Basket of Roses” the standard for floral-inspired streetwear in the 2010s.

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Patchwork sneakers weren’t cool until the Japanese brand FDMTL proposed a boro-themed shoe to their friends at Vans. The Tokyo-based denim brand was looking for a fun way to celebrate their 10-year anniversary in 2015 and turned to the skate shoe leaders for advice and inspiration. Ultimately, these runway-worthy slip-ons were only released in Japan, but by now you can track down a good pair on the internet. With denim gaining traction in the high-fashion community, they’re just right.

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Vans has participated in some colorful partnerships over the years, but only one had a runway name attached to it. The collection that brought us Kenzo slip-ons. Decked out in vibrant reds, greens, blues, and more, Vans’s work with Kenzo has been consistently evolving since the two brands first collaborated in 2012. 29 styles and numerous prints later, this was Vans most prestigious collaboration until Karl came along.

With a track record for excellence in streetwear and high fashion, Vans appears prepared to navigate their new collaboration with Lagerfeld like pros. With two experts as diverse as these, this is a fall footwear collection you don’t want to miss. Stayed tuned for updates about September 7th and get ready to up your sneaker game by epic proportions this fall.


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