SneakersThe Vans Old Skool Is About To Be The Next Stan Smith
Between Damn Daniel and a 50-year anniversary, this year has been a great one for the Southern California skate brand Vans. And now, one of their classic sneaker styles, the Old Skool, is currently poised to be the next big thing.
A perfect storm celebrity endorsements, street style sightings, and high-end collaborators, is bound to solidify the Old Skool into something we haven't seen since the Adidas Stan Smith became the ubiquitous throwback kick du jour. This summer everyone from the usual suspects (Kanye, A$AP) to more subdued tastemakers (Frank Ocean) have all been spotted wearing riffs on the model, though just look to Tyler the Creator's Instagram account for proof that the rapper is seriously dedicated to the Old Skool. He even told the British magazine Puss Puss that the Old Skools are his go-to, that he wears them "24/7".
Additionally, the style has been making inroads with non-famous, stylish dudes, as evidenced by their sudden emergence in street style photos during the men's spring/summer 2017 shows. This makes sense, seeing as skate culture has been casing a long shadow over certain enclaves of the industry, and Vans is the undisputed starting point for the subculture.
Plus, the brand has been seen on high-end runways, like during the spring/summer 2017 show for designer Virgil Abloh's Off-White brand, and partnering with the right people, like a collaboration with Opening Ceremony, and ongoing relationships with cool-kid labels like Supreme and Gosha Rubchinskiy. They were featured in a Nordstrom "pop-in" shop this month, curated by retail wunderkind Olivia Kim.
"We are seeing a lot of energy around Old Skools — it’s currently Vans' fastest growing style and the momentum is gaining," says the brand's senior director of global footwear merchandising Dabney Lee. "As a result we’re expanding our offering and taking the style in new directions: Old Skool MTEs that are designed to protect against cold weather elements, Old Skool Lites for lightweight comfort and cushioning, and incorporating the style into all our special projects."
This sort of sartorial alchemy is damn near impossible to plan, and it would be difficult for a brand — even one as big as Vans — to force a style that's been on their roster back into the spotlight. However, Vans is ready to make the most of the Old Skool's ascendancy "You’ll continue to see Old Skools in our Vault line as part of the Originals Pack with limited edition models slated for later this year," Lee teases. That's good, because chances are we're about to have a glut of Old Skools coming our way and more options are always better. Yet, at $60, it certainly can't hurt to pick up a pair of the classics while you're still ahead of the curve.