Shane Gonzales is to Americana as Vivienne Westwood — one of his idols — was to British nostalgia. Gonzales tinkers with red, white, n’ blue tropes with his recently relaunched clothing line, Midnight Studios, but he doesn’t celebrate American motifs as much as he recontextualizes them.
Hence Gonzales’ Vans collaboration, revealed exclusively to Highsnobiety, toys with staple elements of the American wardrobe, bringing jackets and jeans down to one’s feet.
“The designs take inspiration from Hollywood style of the past decades; style that’s come full circle to present day,” Gonzales tells Highsnobiety. “The inspiration is past and present, created for everyone.
“The title of the collection, ‘Star-Spangled Glamour,’ explores the theme of classic Americana and Hollywood glamour. To me, these two themes tie into each other by evoking a sense of nostalgia, iconic style, and rebellious spirit that reflects the best of American culture.”
Gonzales’ genderless collection comprises three sneakers from Vans’ high-end Vault line: the Old Skool VLT LX, Authentic Zip VLT LX,Sk8-Hi Reissue Strap VLT LX, all sporting uppers reflective of the garment that inspired them.
“The three styles I worked with focus on the combination of classic American styles that have stood the test of time: The perfecto jacket, the everyday jeans, and the cowboy boot,” continued Gonzales. “The key was to find a balance between these different styles and to incorporate design elements that are characteristics of each one while still creating a cohesive and wearable shoe.”
Hence why the Vans Authentic swaps out its conventional canvas upper for patched denim fitted with zippers and rivets, and why the Sk8-Hi now wears black leather fitted with collars, buckles and studs borrowed from biker’s jackets.
Like their hardy inspirations, Gonzales Vans shoes are premium enough to be thrashed on a skateboard and live on, as they’re designed to age as well as any staple garment.
As such, Gonzales saw no need to change the sneakers’ shape because he saw the clear unionization of these disparate elements — classic clothing, classic skate shoe — as inherently compelling.
“Vans silhouettes like the Authentic, Sk8-High, and Old Skool have a simple, everlasting design,” Gonzales said. “When designing my collection, the goal was to challenge the simplicity of these styles, while keeping them classic and instantly recognizable.”
Just like a good pair of jeans.