The Vans x Former Collection Is The Definition Of A Perfect Collab
Blacked out and bad to the bone.
The best thing about the Former x Vans collab is that Dane, Craig, Austyn and the gang used the opportunity to do something different.
It’s not every day that you get gifted the know how of one of the world’s premier shoe makers, but often brands just switch up the colour ways on one of the iconic silhouettes and come out with shoes that are same same, but slightly different. Not Former, they’ve given the Vans designers (or more likely the production team) hell and produced a range that’s very them and very refreshing.
In order of least to most interesting, let’s start with the Sk8Hi. Dane’s input here is present, and the result is a no nonsense shoe for checking the surf or cruising the skate park. Couple of nice details to give them that bespoke touch includes a custom bone suede outer and custom Former doodlings. If you’re after a pair of everyday kicks then the Sk8-Hi 138 FT (presumably that’s custom Former numbering) are a perfect way to add a touch of refinement.
The Style 36 FT Zip is the piece that really sets this collection out from the rest. The Sk8 Hi’s are nice, but everybody does a Sk8 Hi. I’m not even sure what this is, somewhere between an Old Skool dipped in squid ink mixed with something you’d be shelling out $1000 for at the Acne store, but it’s such a perfect representation of Former’s aesthetic. It’s interesting that Craig said he thought that surfers weren’t getting behind Former. I reckon a Former shoe collab is exactly the kind of thing that Australian surfers are willing to get behind. It’s somehow a little less nerdy than admitting you shelled out for a shirt that says ‘Former’ on it because you love Dane and Craig (or Benny!).
Prediction: coming soon to a beach car park near you.
A nice pair of trunks and a zip polo makes up the apparel component of the range, but the real surprise is the mandals, which are sensational. The last time I saw Craig at home in Newcastle he had a bit of a deity vibe – flowing shirt and linen pants and the only thing missing were a nice pair of black mandals. In all seriousness, I’ve been on the hunt for a good pair of sandals that aren’t too Dutch tourist or Inner-Berlin strange hair cut for ages, and the search is over. They’re Vans too and that means all their comfort smarts have gone into them, avoiding the dreaded collab leather slide foot-shredder (it’s real).
The Vans x Former collection will be available at select Vans Surf retailers worldwide on June 22. Visit Vans.com/surf to find authorized dealers near you.
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