Vans x Frog Skateboards
An unrestrained and youthul mix-up that pairs NYC-based Frog Skateboards’ scribble-savvy aesthetic with Vans’ pioneering ode to quality skate necessity, the Vans x Frog Skateboards collection is one that needs no real introduction. Playing on imaginative undertones, nonsensical designs and cartoonish characteristics, the announcement of both a quirky Old Skool and Slip-On silhouette caters to all sorts of ‘trip down memory lane’ feels.
Co-founded by Vans and Last Resort associate Chris Milic and wild-card Stussy collaborator Jesse Alba, son of the great Steve Alba, Frog Skateboards is an independent skatewear brand that continues to leap from idea to idea - leaving a trail of conceptual creativity in its wake. Established in 2015 and born from a desire to attract additional remarks similar to their often-received ‘my 5 year old cousin could design that’ vibe, Frog is no stranger to the liberal-thinking skatewear game. Famed for their on-going seasonal partnership with former Supreme creative director Brendon Babenzien’s NOAH and their ‘straight from a children’s book’ Nike SB Blazer Mid QS release from 2019, Frog brings a refreshing sense of non-aligned artistry to the modern-day market, whilst their bitmoji and sticker-clad short-forms, such as their Lo-Fi ‘Boba Tea and Nightmare’ and ‘Killer Skater’ series, continue to provide their own eye-opening reimagining of evolutionary skate culture.
Turning to the OG #36 silhouette for their black-on-black Vans x Frog Skate Old Skool drop, the fun-loving brand pairs its tongue-in-cheek persona with the Anaheim skate crew’s ageless ode to function to curate a sneaker wrapped in expressive character. Part of the brand’s revolutionary ‘Skate Classics’ collection, a collection inspired by archival designs and the filtered-down needs of modern-day skaters, these contrast-stitched shoes feature Vans’ iconic Waffle outsole, new and improved foxings and re-imagined auxetic overlays that are designed to keep even the most unpredictable of skate-styles under control. Crisp-white laces secure the flattened tongue across the natural arch of the foot, whilst whimsical silicone-charm bezels are added to the iconic side-wall stripes for a distinctive throwback vibe borrowed from ‘90s friendship bracelets and outlandish keyring keepsakes.
A striking contrast, inspired by Vans’ infamous checkered design from the 80’s, the #98 Vans x Frog Skate Slip-On Shoes characterise the brand’s laid-back approach to modernity and their sprightly temperament down to a T. Yet another addition to the ‘Skate Classics’ collection, these light-hearted pastel-toned shoes combine an all-white Waffle outsole with sky-blue foxings for a quirky everyday skate, whilst the mix-matched sticker-style detailing across its multi-coloured checkerboard design pays homage once more to the brand’s non-restrictive vibe. The padded ankle collar, elasticated tongue-walls and auxetic overlays remain true to tradition, whilst the updated side-seam tab and the rehashed ‘Off The Wall Skateboarding’ all-rubber heel scab brings added magnetism to this certifiably sentimental drop.
Joined also by similarly styled checker-print and custom decaled apparel, the Vans x Frog Skateboards release is one that doesn’t waste any time in getting creative. An obvious partnership thanks to the hailing of cross-brand skaters such as Brighton Zeuner, Nick Michel, Dustin Henry and Rowan Zorilla, Frog ranks in alongside the likes of Konstantin Satchek’s Quartersnacks, Quasi and ‘take no sh*t’ Lotties Skate Shop for their well-earnt time in the Vans collab spotlight.