Vans hits a Homer with ‘The Simpsons Movie’ shoe tie-in

Times Staff Writer

Movie tie-ins aren’t always a good fit (the Mirror’s personal favorite will always be the Jar Jar Binks shaving cream spotted at a local CVS around the time “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” hit theaters), so it’s nice to see a film with the blockbuster potential of “The Simpsons Movie” — which rolls out like a giant pink doughnut on July 27 — partnering with Vans for a series of limited-edition footwear.

Inspired by the animated Simpson clan and their Springfield ilk, a dozen underground artists (including taggers Stash and Neckface, local tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon, and Gary Panter, known for his Emmy-winning set design work for “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse”) have created 14 designs commemorating the four-fingered family’s transition from the small screen to the big one.

What makes the Vans footwear fun is that it doesn’t simply slap the Simpsons on a slip-on — designs include a Murakami-style floral pattern in which the characters are barely noticeable, an all-over print of Kwik-E-Mart clerk Apu Nahasapeemapetilon on the chukka silhouette and a “Simpsons”-yellow shoe peppered with bulging cartoon eyeballs.


They go on sale at 10 of the top sneaker-head boutiques in the country Saturday morning. In Southern California, that means Supreme in Los Angeles, Conveyor at Fred Segal in Santa Monica and Proper in Long Beach.

But if you’re determined to score a pair, be prepared to get up early — only 100 pair of each design will be sold for a total of 1,400 pair nationwide.