Vans, the original action sports brand, announces an exciting new collaboration with the famous Japanese designer Kazuki Kuraishi, one of the leading representatives of world street culture.
The primary inspiration for both Vans and Kazuki Kuraishi is the pursuit of the highest quality in detail, materials and design. The outcome, the collaboration, is the creation of two footwear styles and an apparel range.
Kazuki Kuraishi has been deeply involved in creating music, graphic and fashion designs. After studying from the School of Visual Arts in New York, he returned to Japan to start a career as a designer in the budding stage of Ura-Harajuku culture. He has worked with multiple brands, continued to develop creative ideas and put his passion for music into creating album covers. Kazuki Kuraishi draws inspiration from life itself and expresses his fondness for rock music and art through design. As an experienced designer, he has developed a unique and iconic style with a minimalist esthetic and extra attention to materials, details, craftsmanship and other aspects, using minimalism to interpret streetwear.
“I wanted to focus on the logistics workers in general, and the skateboard competition staff who operate and support the competitors by transporting their decks with the Vans truck and also maintain them in the tents around the truck. You can see them reflected in the graphics”, said Kazuki Kuraishi. “I also wanted to introduce the 80’s-90’s skate culture and its mood through graphics because it was the most influential era in my long skateboarding history. Skate culture started on the streets and leads to the creation of a new Olympic sport for Tokyo 2020.”
An eclectic mix of character images, smiley faces and milk boxes from Kazuki Kuraishi’s favorite skate graphics of the 80’s-90’s are all used for print concepts by Kazuki Kuraishi. The classic, Authentic and Sk8-Low colouring palette of black and gray features printed graphics. For apparel items such as tee and trousers, Vans and Kazuki Kuraishi have also paid homage to skate culture and reinterpreted unique theme print graphics.
As a part of the creative community, Vans is celebrating self-expression with the Vans Customs platform, which gives creative control over shoe types, materials, colours, and patterns. This time, Vans partners with Kazuki Kuraishi to bring the Customs pattern, specially designed for the Authentic, featuring a series of custom printed graphics such as the workman and milk cartons on a blue background. As Kazuki said, “I wasn’t allowed to touch the logos or the silhouettes, so what I wanted to share the most was to highlight the DIY spirit of the skate culture and how I was inspired by Vans history. Those ideas turned into re-imagined 80’s-90’s graphics. I hope you will enjoy our collaboration collection through the zine inside the shoebox, and two videos representing the concept.”