Vans’ latest line of sneakers is a mash-up of sk8tr boi and post-impressionist aesthetics, paying homage to the art of troubled painter Vincent Van Gogh while still incorporating skateboard-favorite icons like skulls.

But Vans are for sk8tr girlz and fashionistas, too, and you’ll also see the softer side of Vincent in the collection, with prints of his sunflowers and almond blossoms adorning shoes and other clothing items.

The collection, which will be available Aug. 3, is a collaboration between Vans and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The museum will donate a portion of its profits to the preservation of Van Gogh’s legacy and artwork.

“We are delighted with the Vans x Van Gogh Museum collection, as it ties in with our mission to make the life and work of Vincent van Gogh accessible to as many people as possible in order to enrich and inspire them,” said Adriaan Dönszelmann, managing director of the museum, in a statement.

Van Gogh studied color theory through painting a series of skulls that captured shade and light, and one of those images is featured on a Classic Slip-On shoe, long-sleeve tee, hoodie and hat with details like artist’s handwriting and brush strokes hidden in a checkerboard print.

The Sunflowers painting is featured on the Authentic shoe style, a boyfriend tee and hoodie. Almond Blossom is printed on a satin bomber, hat and backpack.

Van Gogh’s self-portrait decorates the Authentic and an oversized tee; Old Vineyard with Peasant Woman is printed across the Old Skool, and a Classic Slip-On features excerpts from handwritten letters from Vincent to his brother, Theo.

The top-selling Vans silhouette for women is the Old Skool, while the Authentic and Classic Slip-On are also top sellers, Fashionista reported.

April Vitkus, senior director of Global Brand Marketing for Vans, told Fashionista the company noted the influence skate culture was having on fashion and made an intentional push about 10 years ago to market to women. The initiative included building collaborations with fashion brands and designers like Marc Jacobs, Karl Lagerfeld and French fashion brand A.P.C.

Vans is a subsidiary of apparel, footwear and accessories company VF Corp.,which bought the brand in 2004 for $396 million. The Vans brand grew by 39 percent last quarter with strength across all regions, channels and franchises, per a May earnings call.

VF also owns brands including The North Face, Timberland, Wrangler and Lee.


Anne Stych, Contributing Writer