Vans x Justin Henry
An exclusive collaboration that effortlessly showcases clean-line pro skater Justin Henry's seamlessly smooth skate style and Vans' commitment to revolutionary creativity, the Vans x Justin Henry release symbolises a break in trend from its usual punchy prints, letting a noticeably more angelic, peace-inspired aesthetic take its turn in the contemporary limelight of both street and skatewear styling. Inspired not only by his recent years spent as in integral member of the Vans Skate Team but by his own ongoing passion for unrefuted styling that goes against the glossy wood-grain of typical skate silhouettes, this understated two-piece collection houses both a Style 36 Pro revival and a highly personal Cherub Tote Bag that matches Henry's #spreadtheword 'World Peace' visionary direction.
A collection that hones in on a ‘No Youth, No Future’ viewpoint, these two signature styles effortlessly showcase Henry’s empowering spirit and his passion for selfless change. Opting for the classic '77 profile as the vessel in which to honour his first signature model, Henry's charm and down-to-earth persona are omnipresent in these divinity-inspired Style 36 Pro kicks. Fusing pebble-grain all-white leather uppers with colour-matched rubberised trims, these skate shoes set about bringing a sense of elevated spirit to any hell-raising skate style. Offering a premium yet sporty vibe, the design swaps out the usual go-to coloured trims for stark white side stripes, bartack stitching and a playful wash-out of Van’s iconic side tab. Loyal to its preceding Pro models, overflow toe bumpers and high-rise foxing tape help provide these ankle-cushioned sneakers with a little more resilience and impact-resistant structuring, whilst the UltraCush sockliner and Original Waffle outsole put comfort and multi-layered traction before all else. Each sole is decorated with single ‘World Peace’ jet-black lettering for step-by-step definition, whilst the corresponding ribboned laces help tie the design together seamlessly through its well-rooted temper. Joining these statement shoes, a ‘70s inspired Cherub-decorated tote bag pays homage to Henry’s beloved Aunt and her love of sewing, whilst its all-over checkerboard ribbon print, contrast-coloured white-print handles and its urbanised undertones help sign off this well-rooted collaboration in style.
Having grown up skating the streets of Columbus Ohio and DC's famed Kettering-based Skate Plaza, 24 year old Henry is no stranger to the world of skateboarding. Famed for his 'try and try again' mantra and his ceaseless ability to skate whatever setup's tossed his way, there's no real surprise as to how he's managed to land sponsorships with the likes of Independent, Spitfire and fellow Ohioan Buckeye brand Quasi; owned by skate-scene mastermind Chad Bowers and known for their 'no-nonsense but always over the top' apparel and hardware. Joining the visionary Vans crew in 2018, Henry brings a sense of robust charm into the mix, whilst his recent debuts in Quasi's 2018 clip 'Mother', Brixton's 2017 self-titled reel and as part of Thrasher Magazine’s 'Wrecking Crew: Texas' showcase, alongside fellow skaters Diego Todd, Nick Michel and the Pabich brothers, needlessly demonstrates that there is still so much more in store for this well-rounded and harmoniously sound skater.
Marked also by a short-film release by Vans, this exclusive Justin Henry x Vans collection is one that’s all about down-to-earth selflessness and a desire to empower the generation that’s set to succeed us. Having been involved in the skate community since he was young, spending time at Columbus’ Embassy Boardshop and inspiring others at the Skate Naked Skatepark, Henry actively demonstrates how perspectives can change in an instant, with this memorable collaboration acting as a step in the right direction, honouring his liberal reflection that ‘all the selfish goals you have, they’re really not as cool as just helping others’.
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