It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when Vans, a powerhouse skate brand that's been around since 1966, became the fashion-girl sneakers of choice. The brand that thrived off the skateboarding boom of the '70s experienced yet another skate-crowd revival in the '90s, and whose checkerboard slip-ons defined an entire music genre, has never made its way out of the spotlight. But over the last decade, its classic styles have been adopted into a new community, with fashion editors, street style stars, and designers alike adding the shoes to their sneaker lineups. You're just as likely to spot a pair of pure white Old Skools littering the streets of New York as you are other classic styles. The brand has also been a heavy hitter in the collaboration space. From Supreme to Susan Alexandra to, dropping today, Sandy Liang, there have been a handful of designer collections, both commercial and made for the runway, that have further solidified the brand's It-sneaker status.
While Vans has experimented with plenty of new designs throughout the decades, it's the classic, retro silhouettes that fashion girls keep coming back to. The padded Sk8-Hi, the Old Skool, the brand's very first style now dubbed the Authentic—all styles you'll see regularly show up on your Instagram feeds. Since there's no shortage of ways to style the sneakers, we thought we'd pick out a few of the most recent iterations. Ahead, see how the fashion crowd is helping the affordable sneakers live on.
In other news, my middle school self is stoked to know that slip-ons are still thriving. I can't think about them without having to repress memories of covering them with "edgy" lyrics in Sharpie. Yusra Siddiqui does the silhouette modern-day justice by topping it off with a pair of frayed-hem jeans and a zebra-pattern top.
Hey, it's me. Vans devotee. I practically live in a rotating array of Authentics. While nothing will ever be more classic than Vans paired with denim, I prefer to style them with dresses and skirts for a casual-cool look.
While the plain black or white styles are easy staples, don't shy away from Vans' affinity for bold designs. Here, Bianca Valle proves the more the merrier when it comes to stacking prints.
When all is said and done, a pair of Sk8-His are the best sneakers to keep on hand for a casual day out. They're a no-fail option that always helps your simple ensembles look a little more put together. Just throw them on with jeans and a sweater, and you're good to go.