We first showed you the incredible Vans Syndicate designed by our homie Luke Meier back in the summer. With the release of a new navy colorway this Black Friday exclusively for Supreme and the complimentary film directed by Kahlil Joseph, I thought it was time to get some insight from the guy who is the leading force behind Supreme's collaborative footwear.
It feels like yesterday when me, Luke, and Chris would bullshit at Union about sneakers and other monotonous shit that we love. The more things change, the more they stay the same... I'll keep it brief because I really only like to look at pictures too...
How did the relationship start with Vans & Supreme?
"Berto Liechty from Syndicate and Supreme LA approached me about designing a new model for Syndicate. I'd known him for a while through mutual friends and work, and I'd also known the Vans crew from some of the Supreme and Vans projects."
Is there a reference point for the sneakers?
The general reference point is traditional shoemaking shapes within Vans technique. More specifically, some of the details are ideas I'd had for a while, and I finally got to put them to use. Some were inspired by luxury leather goods and others by vintage skate shoes.
Can you talk about the design process?
The shoe design was based on the destruction of shoes when skateboarding. I wanted to use luxurious materials and tried to give it a high-quality overall feel with the idea that it will be destroyed when it's put to its intended use. Specifically I put the leather accents in spots where they will get the most abuse.
Are they meant to be skate in or worn for style?
Because they are Vans Syndicate they were made with the intention of being a good skate shoe first and foremost. If people like to just wear them for the style, even better.
What are your thoughts on the current state of sneaker culture and design?
I think it's cool that people who were into sneakers have started looking outside of the usual brands and have embraced all kinds of footwear. Obviously these days people are paying a lot more attention to traditional brands like Alden and Red Wing, and most people now even understand what Goodyear welt construction is. However, everything goes through phases. At the end of the day if the product is good it's good, whether it's a sneaker or a wingtip brogue, and people will gravitate towards it. A company like Vans offers products that will always remain in style, at times to a greater or lesser degree. I hope that my project can be seen as something that fits into the tradition that Vans has perpetuated.
Can you talk about the incredible film directed by Kahlil Joseph that accompanies the sneaker release?
When I asked Kahlil if he would make a film to support this project, I explained the concept to him, and he was into it. He far exceeded my expectations and I think he made an amazing film. The piece is very much his vision, and is actually the first work he has done that incorporates skateboarding. I think that the film reflects the aesthetic of the entire project in a natural way, and I'm honored that he and his team worked so hard in its realization. Chris Gibbs who co-produced the film also helped out a lot, as he's always someone who adds great perspective and influence.
For more info about the Destroy Luxury project and to watch the film hit the link below...