Vans shoes and A Tribe Called Quest are both true originals. Founded in '66, the shoe brand started the action-sports trend and defined the early skateboarding style. The hip-hop group started nearly 20 years later, but the Queens rappers also blazed their own trail pioneering the alternative hip-hop sound and epitomizing just how innovative the genre could be. The apparel and musical legends recently teamed up for a limited-edition collection of colorful kicks that feature Tribe's album artwork and lyrics.
Vans, who previously collaborated with rap groups like Odd Future and Public Enemy, produced a range of classic shoe styles for the new line. For example, the Slip-On features artwork and embroidery from their latest, We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service, a critically acclaimed comeback album that topped the Billboard 200. Likewise, the Sk8-Hi style pays tribute to the 1990 track "Bonita Applebaum," while the Authentic shoe honors the late Phife Dawg, a Tribe member who passed away in March 2016. Other shoe styles include the UltraRange, Era and the black-on-black Old Skool. Unfortunately, Vans did not make a shoe for 1991's The Low End Theory, which is arguably their artistic milestone.
For the release, the House of Vans Brooklyn is hosting a two-day pop-up event on March 30 and 31. The shopping experience includes early access to purchase the collection and live music performances curated by Q-Tip himself. You do have to RSVP in order to attend, but tickets are free and available here. The shoe line itself launches April 6 in stores.
The Vans x A Tribe Called Quest collaboration retails from $37 to $85.