The Vans x Drag Collab is Garishly Good
If you’d told Drag they’d be doing a Vans collab when they started then guaranteed they would’ve laughed.
Probably still are. Surfing tried so hard for so long that it’s not surprising that a “company” (for tax purposes) based on fun came along and made people take note. This Vans collab is just the latest installment.
The link between north Wollongong industrial estate soft board specialists Drag, and the fourth biggest shoe manufacturer in the world, is a curious one on paper. But it absolutely works, coming about organically through the Drag family’s longterm friendship with Vans rider Harry Bryant.
“Yeah a bunch a plebs from the Bellambi housos designing a range with a top tier footwear label is pretty fucken wild,” says Drag overlord, know only as “Maddog.”
Whilst we’re on the subject, a personal bravo to Vans for continuing to throw cash at an eclectic bunch of surfers, like Harry, who act as touch points for the more relatable aspects of professional surfing for us mortals.
The collab features some Drag takes on Vans classics (flamey sk8-Hi, long sleeves that look like they fell off the vintage rack) and some more bespoke items, fit for hunting slabs in the harshest climates (legionnaires hat for maximum sun protection in and out of the water, booties for clomping over the rocks/fishin/surfin/boatin etc.).
Sure you’ve had a gut full of us praising the Vans surf booties, but I texted Ryan Sewell (the gent pictured above) out of Stab-context and asked whether they made him go faster and he said, “Aye bra, yeah they’re real sick!” So there you have it.
When pushed for his pick, Maddog points to the Vans x Drag Ultrarange EXO, or the “Junkie Sports Shoe,” as he calls it. “We couldn’t believe Vans let us make that,” says Maddog. “Was kinda nerve racking pushing the button on it, potential full The Homer moment, but dero chic is big, especially in Italy. They’re designed for quick getaways with flatscreens on your back.”
If you want to get your hands on the swag then head to Vans (if you’re in Oz, try Drag or your nearest quality surf shop)
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