Inspired by art, surfing, skateboarding, music and the wellbeing of our own living world, the new Vans x Chris Johanson collaboration puts forward a colorful, Summer ready range of footwear and apparel that’s dedicated to all living things.
For this special collection, Vans teamed up with Portland, Oregon-based surfer, skateboarder, musician, environmental advocate, and world-renowned artist Chris Johanson. When approached to do this project, Johanson decided to put his love for the environment forward with a sustainable capsule that encourages you to “Be Cool to Your Living World.”
Urban graffiti themes, a combination of text and cartoon images, and incorporating uplifting messaging and organic materials was Chris's vision for this collection. Many pieces in the line lean into different eco-materializations and designs by utilizing organically-grown cotton as well as an eco-rubber compound made from responsibly sourced natural rubber instead of petroleum derived synthetic rubber.
About Chris Johanson
Growing up in San Jose, California, Chris Johanson learned his craft painting on skateboards and houses. In the late ‘80s, Chris moved to San Francisco’s Mission District, immersing himself in the local art scene, drawing Sharpie cartoons on lamp posts and bathroom stalls. His art was seen by a wider audience in 1994 when he created a board graphic run for Anti-Hero. If you skate, you know that doing a series for a brand like Anti-Hero is huge. Later, Johanson achieved international fame after participating in the 2002 Whitney Biennial exhibition and going on to win the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s SECA Art Award.
This particular collection was a perfect marriage as both Vans and Chris Johanson share a core passion for art, surfing, and the ocean. According to Vans : “Johanson’s work plays between the techniques of figuration and abstraction, as he sees these two modes of working as interconnected expressions of the complexities of environmentalism, compassion, and peaceful co-existence”.
Featured model: The Authentic SF
To dive deeper and get a good example of what the Vans x Chris Johanson shoes collection is really about, let’s check out one of our favorites models from the range, the Authentic SF. Chris Johanson's signature swirls and patterns on a all-time favorite makes this one an instant Classic. We've also rarely seen a shoe with that many eco-oriented components and details.
First, the shoe highlights Vans all new NATURAL RUBBER, an eco rubber compound made from responsibly sourced natural rubber instead of petroleum-derived synthetic rubber. The best about this is that Vans managed to keep the Natural Rubber just as grippy as their usual rubber we all know and love. The shoes Outsoles are also partially made out of RECYCLED CUTTING FLOOR WASTE.
Another cool aspect about the Vans x Chris Johanson Authentic SF is that it’s 100% made of ORGANICALLY GROWN COTTON, which means that the cotton comes from non-genetically modified seed with no synthetic pesticides. The shoe’s laces are also made out of JUTE FIBERS. Jute is known for being grown with minimal water and considered one of the fasted growing & renewable types of crop ever.
The Shoe collection also includes removable ULTRACUSH LITE SOCKLINERS, providing elevated comfort, fit, and cushioning as well as collapsible heels for a smooth and easy to wear feeling. Last but not least, All sneakers of the “Be Cool to Your Living World” feature UltraCush cork footbeds, a cushioning foam combined with a layer of cork on top to keep your feet comfortable and dry.
The Vans x Chris Johanson eco-friendly properties and signature artwork can also be found on the Destruct SF shoe, the Ultrarange Exo and the Trek Slip-on, a new functional all-rubber silhouette engineered to take anything thrown at it. CHECK OUT THE REST OF THE VANS x CHRIS JOHANSON AT THE LINK BELOW.
The Apparel Collection
Chris Johanson signature patterns, designs and eco-friendly initiatives can also be found across a colorful range of apparel with the classic Vans look enhanced with Johanson’s vision. The collection includes the Johanson Swirl Boardshort, crafted with 10% Elastane four-way stretch recycled polyester and featuring the same unique swirl pattern and an antique white waistband and pocket closure.
The collection also includes a variety of Johanson-illustrated tees, along with a floral woven shirt made of 80% organic cotton, a bag, a snapback hat, and a fleece pullover hoodie in vintage black with a hand-drawn smiley face. Each top is made with 60% recycled PET polyester and 40% post industrial recycled carded ring-spun cotton. Now that’s what we call being “cool to our living world”!