Vans meets Van Gogh in sunflower- and skull-filled collaborative collection

Vans’ latest collaborative collection lets you walk in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, so to speak, by putting some of the artist’s best-known works on some of the action sports brand’s most popular shoe silhouettes.

The partnership between the Costa Mesa action sports brand and the Amsterdam-based Van Gogh Museum, which hits retail next week, includes a range of footwear, apparel and accessories adorned with imagery plucked from a handful of the Dutch artist’s paintings such as “Skull” on a long-sleeve T-shirt, hoodie and the Classic Slip-On; “Sunflowers” on the lace-up Authentic style as well as hoodies and T-shirts; and “Almond Blossom” digitally printed on a hat, backpack and satin-like bomber jacket. One of the artist’s self-portraits, the drawingOld Vineyard with Peasant Woman” and excerpts from handwritten letters to his brother Theo are also in the design mix.

Vans’ trademark checkerboard pattern, which appears on many of the pieces, is tweaked with brushstroke-like details that pay homage to Van Gogh’s style, and special hangtags include historical facts about the featured works of art.


Of the pieces we’ve seen so far, the sunflower-festooned pieces are likely to make the biggest splash, not only because “Sunflowers” is one of Van Gogh’s better-known works, but because it’s almost impossible to be in a bad mood if you’re shod in cheery yellow kicks. (Then again, maybe we’ve just got a serious floral bias; two of our favorite Vans collaborative kicks of all time are the delightfully daisy-decorated Murikami Classic Slip-On from 2015 and the bold Hawaiian print Yoda Aloha Authentic from 2014, both of which are in our personal collection.)

Footwear in the Vans X Van Gogh Museum collection ranges from $65 to $75 (toddlers’ versions are priced at $40 — a small price to pay to inspire that little artist in your life, no?) and apparel pieces range from $40 to $140. The collection will be available at Vans retail stores, select Vans wholesale accounts and starting Aug. 3 in addition to the Van Gogh Museum’s Amsterdam shop, where you can also pick up things such as limited-edition officially licensed Samsonite luggage (also inspired by “Almond Blossom”) and “Sunflowers”-inspired Franz Collection teapots. The museum’s proceeds from those collaborations as well as the soon-to-drop Vans mash-up help fund its ongoing work.

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