Vans x Lotties Skateshop
A highly anticipated collaboration that sets about celebrating the importance of independent skate shops, organic relationships and the installment of community connections, the Vans x Lotties release is filled with cheeky references, custom graphics and an ode to artistic creativity. Known for their ‘take no sh*t’ ethos and their constant strive to inspire the youth of tomorrow, Los Angeles based Lotties’ latest pairing with the leading Anaheim crew introduces zine-inspired black and blue Vans Sk8-Hi Pro into the mix - a throwback design that owes its creativity to both store frontman Gigliotti and the laid-back persona associated with skater come musician Ray Barbee and a red and military khaki Era Pro.
Founded and owned by unrestrained street-skater Mike Gigliotti, Lotties’ Skateshop has swiftly grown to become known as a communal hub for like minded skaters, city-slicking youngsters and naturally curious individuals in the market for something a little more rough, ready and resilient, whilst their wild and intangible illustrated gear now hosts its own international reputation that spills out far beyond its CA 90016 zip code. A company that strives to promote reliable and premium-quality apparel and accessories, Lotties has pulled off numerous notable collaborations in the past, including those with Spitfire Wheels, Anti-Hero, Baker Skateboards and publication powerhouse Thrasher Magazine, whilst both their online and physical store continues to reflect such brands within its ever-expanding inventory. Fuelled by Gigliotti’s love for skating, art and for preserving localised skate communities as ‘safe havens for youth’, Lotties serves as an outlet for creative self-expression with its unconventional undertones and its tongue-in-cheek character. Following on from filmmaker Daniel Wheatley’s recently debuted ‘Virtually Throwaway’ edit from July this year, a fast-paced short-form that gathered all the left-over trimmings from the b-side of Lotties’ ‘Must Be Stopped’ film from 2019 with Andrew Allen, Dustin Henry and fellow Vans collaborator and Sci-Fi Fantasy front-man Jerry Hsu, the exclusive film, ‘Vans Presents: Lotties Skateshop’ is also released inline with this collection, needlessly justifying exactly why skate shops should continue to be celebrated as cornerstones of the international skate family.
Inspired by old ‘Ray Barbee footage’ from the ‘80s, the blue and black Sk8-Hi Pro combines artistic creativity with superior boardfeel to ensure characterised comfort at every turn. Styled with brushed-navy suede uppers with grainy zine-style canvas panelling across the midfoot and padded collar. Honouring the independent skate shop from each angle through the pin-line fiery flame detailings across the crisp-white rubber midsole, the tonal-etched ‘Griptape is $5 Dipshit’ sidestripe decal and the custom-designed faded quarter featuring exclusive artwork from owner Mike Gigliotti, these sneakers complement Vans’ iconic structure by coaxing a notion of commemorative self-expression to the surface. Remaining loyal to the traditional Pro profile with its single-wrap foxing, PopCush sockliner and DURACAP rubber underlays, the energised design is sealed with custom decorated insoles featuring artwork from Gigliotti and with jagged-edge ‘Lotties’ debossed branding across the block-tone heels, a subtle reference to the pillar foundations laid by such independent skate shops.
Joining the Sk8-Hi Pro the rustic red and military-green Era Pro offers up more retro-inspired vibes with their classic ‘80s-hue colourings and their mix-matched finishings. Styled with constructed canvas across the midfoot, 5-eyelet lacing system and the padded ankle, and with butter-smooth suede across the contrasting-coloured greenish brown toe vamp, flattened tongue and heel counter, these throwback Era’s fuse authenticity with appeal to create something highly similar to the ‘first real skate shoe’ created by Dogtown Z-Boys Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta in 1976. Keeping with tradition, Vans’ iconic PopCush sockliner and DURACAP rubber underlays help supply comfort and cushioned impact-resilience from first wear, whilst the single-foxing tape, reinforced white-stitch tracking and the bold-black laces across the white, over-accentuated eyelets ensure security and reliable structuring throughout. Custom Mike Gigliotti-designed insoles owe a nod to the skate shop’s creative artistry, whilst the debossed ‘Lotties’ tonal detailing across each heel counter rounds these upgraded Era Pro’s off to match their higher-collared Sk8-Hi Pro counterpart.
Best known as a community-centered outlet designed to help provide the perfect platform for the next generation of skaters to get out there and get noticed, Californian independent skate shop Lotties continues to break the mould with their ‘give-back’ attitude and their priceless sense of abstract character.
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