Recently the sneaker fashion market has seen the revival of some 1980’s classics: Adidas ProShells, Nike Jordans (will they never not be cool), New Balances, even the skateboarder’s favorite – Vans.
Well known Japanese contemporary art phenomenon Takashi Murakami also appears to be a fan of the sneakers, as The Hotel Du Grand Veneur in Paris just hosted the launch party for his Vans Vault line (Classic Slip-Ons covered in his signature playful designs). He also designed an assortment of skateboards and surfboards as part of Vans’ special spring/summer 2015 collection.
This is not the first time his unique psychedelic style has attracted iconic fashion labels. After seeing his huge cartoon balloon-like sculptures, Louis Vuitton began to collaborate with him on a long-time partnership. The collection re-envisioned Vuitton’s signature monogram and became a huge commercial success for both the brand and the artist.
With his Vans collaboration, Murakami can reach a much broader audience, as the price point is much more wallet friendly and the shoes are sold in stores throughout the world. From classic all-white with silver outlined flowers (think every cloud has a silver lining) to his rainbow cartoon-esque punk skull pattern (think Vans x Takashi Murakami x Tim Burton) the collection has a corky little something for everyone.
Murakami claims that he only wears Vans Classic Slip-Ons in his studio, so that could be the motivating factor behind this collaboration…or it could be that both “brands” are currently enjoying a moment in the popular culture sun? Either way, the collection is worth checking out, so click here to see a list of where you can your own sneakers.
Murakami is prolific in the contemporary art world, having had his first retrospective travel from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles – to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, and lastly the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain. In 2008, Murakami was named one of Time magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” – having been the only visual artist included in the article. He also exhibited a massive collection of his works at the Palace of Versailles in France in 2010- the only Japanese contemporary artist to do so at this prestigious location; other contemporary artists include Joana Vasconcelos, Jeff Koons, and now Anish Kapoor.