A successful collab deserves a tasteful concept shoot.
Al Knost's Signature Vans Are (Predictably) Perfection
In Vegan Leather!
It's hard to measure or attach a value to cultural icons, but Al Knost is certainly one of surfing's MVPs.
Al might not be sporting stickers on every square inch of his crafts, but he doesn't need to. He's worth enough to RVCA and Vans to not have to worry about it, and the more removed he is from the traditional avenues that the brands use for marketing, the more his stock soars. Vans surf have an impressive roaster of athletes, but few (see: none, barring maybe Dane) can move product like Costa Mesa's favourite son. Not that he seems too worried, which in turn further drives the Knost mystique.
Al's supervised a number of signature ranges for RVCA and one-off pieces for Vans, but his is the first time he's lent his name to a pair of shoes. Two, in fact. Al's got undeniable talent in the design department, and his two Vans silhouettes - the Style 36 Decon in "bitter chocolate" and Sk8-Hi 138 Decon in "Dress Blues" - are equally different and wearable. Achieving that in a pair of shoes isn't as easy as you'd think.
Not exactly sure who owns the car, but the colour matching couldn't have been more perfect.
For his two signature pairs Al's gone vegan leather for the outer and chosen two, classic 60s inspired silhouettes. We're loving the low fi bowling/BDSM vibes, and you can't deny that Señor Knost has come up with two very striking shoes. Both styles have rubber toe caps and all the modern Vans features like UltraCush sock lining and the patent waffle sole. Meaning that they'll still be Vans comfy.
Wherever you stand on Al's surfing, he's changed what it means to be a "professional" surfer, we think for the better. In a time when everything's geared towards measuring value, it's nice to know that those who walk to their own beat still hold more cultural capital than people who live on social media and try and cram the fact that they're "doing work" down your throat.
Al's "dress blue', vegan leather take on the classic Sk8-Hi.