So far this year, a lot of our shopping budget has gone toward limited-edition Vans. First, there was the glittery, shimmery loveliness that came out of its collaboration with Opening Ceremony (and that we couldn't scoop up fast enough). The brand's latest collection is less sparkly, but it's no less exciting — especially for hardcore Vans fans. Its new range brings it all the way back to the early days of its original factory/retail store in Anaheim, California, which opened for business in 1966.
The Anaheim Factory pack is a capsule of Vans' most well-known silhouettes, reissued in their earliest form. While there hasn't been a major shift in the shoes' aesthetic throughout the company's 50-year history, some Vans kicks did, in fact, look a bit different back in the day: they had a heavier canvas composition, suede accents, and a higher sidewall, which had a slight sheen to it as a result of its vulcanisation process at the time, according to a statement —and all of those O.G. qualities are present in the reissue.
On the occasion of this nostalgic pack, Vans also reintroduced the original number system the Anaheim facility used to designate styles: 44 for the Authentic, 36 for the Old Skool, and 38 for the Sk8-Hi. Plus, it brought back a select number of colours from its original factory selection that have been mostly out of commission for years, including racing red, mineral green, and light grey. "It's an ode to Vans’ unique design heritage that incorporates retro detailing that was found 50 years ago in Anaheim," Dabney Lee, senior director of merchandising for Vans' Classics, told Refinery29. "But it's now upgraded with Vans’ innovative UltraCush footbed for comfort."
"We wanted a chance to tell the story behind all of the original design details and create a retro pack that honoured Vans’ California roots," Lee said. This relaunch is part of the company's larger "Not Just One Thing" campaign promoting its Classics and their history. Seeing as you can't find Old Skools or Authentics in these shades (or this particular rendition) outside of the Vans archive or someone's own personal collection, the release will likely make a lot of Vans fans very happy. "The attention to retro design resonates with Vans fans and the classic silhouettes — the Authentic, Sk8-Hi, and Old Skool — have been fan favourites for over 50 years. The collection is a testament to our heritage and our commitment to progression for the future."