Our final sneaker artist is a special one—our head designer, Joyce. She put a sparkly spin on the classic Sk8-Hi Vans®, adding metallic silver laces and gold leather star patches. We decorated each one by hand here at Madewell HQ (really, we did), so handle ’em with a little extra care. Learn more about the sneaks in our Q&A with Joyce, then get your own pair before we’re all out—only 50 exist (!).
Friends Claire Lampert and Stacy Daily of B Sides are true artists when it comes to reworking vintage denim, and it turns out they’re just as good at transforming high-tops too. Only 20 pairs of these hand-paint-splattered Vans with vintage-bandana laces were made exclusively for us—so find out more about the sneaks then nab a pair, quick (!).
We’re really into Austin chain-stitch collective Ft. Lonesome’s original embroidery designs—so much so that we’ve done a few collabs in the past and most recently had them do their thing on these limited-edition Sk8-Hi Vans®. Read on to learn more about the sneaks from the crew’s founder Kathie Sever, then nab a pair of your own (only 30 exist, so get on it).
Timeless as they may be, a pair of canvas sneakers presents a bit of a paradox: They’re forever in style but they sure are hard to wear for, well, ever. Canvas shows age and with the frequency we wear ours that can happen way sooner than we’d like. We chatted with our friend, Chris Cottle at Vans, who could be considered a bit of an expert seeing as he’s surrounded by canvas shoes all day long. He did a little sleuthing and shared a few personal care tips. Tip numero uno? You’re gonna want to bookmark this post.
Vans embodies the sort of laid-back cool that Southern Californians do so well; you can’t help but feel a little more relaxed just by slipping on a pair. No wonder they’ve been part of the standard-issue uniform of the ultimate experts in chilled-out style—skateboarders and surfers—pretty much since The Van Doren Rubber Company opened its doors in Anaheim, California, in 1966.
“Why’s that,” you say? Their rubber soles provided a better grip than other sneaks, so moves that involved catching air got simpler with Vans on your feet. And they’re so easy to get on and off—instant surfer bait. Then, of course, the black and white checkerboard slip-ons Sean Penn’s Jeff Spicoli sported in 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High cemented their cultural-icon status and created demand way beyond California’s borders. Vans’ founder, Paul Van Doren, was inspired to make a few pairs in the now-classic pattern after spotting kids checkering the white rubber sides of their Vans with ballpoint pens. Genius.
So thank you, Vans, for making it a cinch to have a little more casual-cool in our lives. The classic check along with exclusive styles they made just for us (and you, of course) are right over here.