Look M-Feb-Good In And Out of The Drink
*No guarantees once those Vans soles hit the wax.
Mikey February is a one of the most valuable assets in surfing.
In an age where marketeers are desperately trying to manufacture diversity where it doesn’t exist — inevitably leading to patronising, dumbed-down, and generally naff content — Mikey Feb is an outlier. South Africa’s first black surfer to qualify for the CT (thus rendering his hi-fi props undeniable), who can ride literally anything with technical skill and effortless style. He also drives a vintage Merc and has seemingly made it his raison d’etre to explore African culture — coastline, music, people and more — through his beautiful surfing?
If that isn’t a refreshing drink of water in surf world, then I don’t know what is. Thus, when M.Feb casts his influence over a Vans range, we pay attention.
Signature ranges in surfing are a minefield, and I’d love to see some numbers from Vans on who’s shifted units and whose are gathering dust in what one assumes is a Death Star of a warehouse. However, an educated guess would suggest that Mikey’s garbs will (relatively) fly off the shelves. And not just because he’s put his name to the best looking iteration of Vans’ comfy-as-sin Ultra Range yet.
Let’s start with the clear W’s. Firstly, that Mikey’s range is compact, designed to be worn together, and features a perfect weekend-away’s-worth of clothes. The colours and fit are topical -— for anyone interested in menswear, we’re hard out on chocolates and olives, loose but not ridiculous pants and tailored tops, without resorting to the suss noughties blazer fad. The brown/white contrast stitching that runs throughout Mikey’s Vans range is also a lovely piece of continuity, tying the pieces together without resorting to gimmicky M.Feb x Vans logo mash ups.
Focusing on the footwear, you can’t accuse Mikey and the Vans design heads of not covering your bases. The Authentics in ‘shadow’ grey with the contrast brown stitch and pre-designed fold down beach heel are a nice variation on a familiar theme that’ll go with literally anything. Moving along the shoe rack we have a chocolate take on the Style 36 Decon VR3 SF, which hasn’t exactly been plucked from obscurity, but isn’t as regularly featured in collabs as a Sk8-Hi or pair of Slip Ons. Then we’ve got the aforementioned UltraRange which is definitely aesthetic progress in this particular form and perfect for the more strenuous activities a weekend can throw at you. And lastly comes Mikey’s take on the Surf Boot Hi 2 V, which features a brown stripe and Mikey’s scribble on the best pair of rubber boots in all surfdom.
Ultimately it’s not hard to get onboard with what Mikey February and Vans does within our world, especially when it’s as tasteful as their most recent offering. When it comes to keeping interesting characters off the building site (see: Cornish fishing boats) no company contributes more than Vans, and props to them for letting their eclectic team take a run at a range. It’s perhaps unsurprising that the surfer who looks best standing on a surfboard, also knows a thing or two about looking good on terra firma.
Mikey February’s Vans capsule is available in selected Vans stores and right here.
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