With the rekindling of Kenzo and Vans, this long-awaited perma-tropical collab will have you skidding the concrete and grazing the metal railings, even at least in theory.
If there’s any print that has quickly ascended in the heavy rotation of the man’s modern wardrobe, it would have to be the ubiquitous tropical explosion on the staple open-faced short-sleeved button-down. Ask a bloke to play up his sense of style from ill-fitting, oversized numbers, heavy-handed stripes and garish statements, you best expect him to come all gussied up in an assortment of floral and palm tree motifs that are a wee bit more of a misplaced summer aggression than the intended Miami Vice. But hey, at least the generally straightforward, no-fuss sense of style has deviated by as much, compelling men to explore the bounds of what is expected.
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Finally breaking through the basic dictates of style, more and more are taking to big, bold, and blooming prints, which is not only endemic to the Philippines, but also a breath of fresh air in terms of diversifying style. Sure, we may be taking cues from the golden, sunny filter of the California coastline, but this easy, laidback approach to fashion makes the most sense locally, especially with our enviable perma-tropical climate. This is why the release of the Kenzo and Vans collaboration feels just right, because while the season of the sun may play hide and seek with us and the intermittent torrents of rain, there is always a piece of summer to hold on to.
Following a time difference of 7 years since the last release, Kenzo and Vans are teaming up once again, this time under the helm of the former’s new Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista for a full capsule collection that isn’t solely focused on sneakers, but also diversifying to a range of menswear and womenswear that are every bit as street and skate-ready as the California-based brand has been known for. Vibing off the classic Old-Skool and Sk8-Hi sneaker of Vans, a confident imprint from the archives of Kenzo gave the minimal, concrete-grazing, board-skidding mainstay a vibrant makeover, with the florals trickling down from the top of the canvas, the padded ankle, and down to the typically white base of the shoe.
Right up the alley of what is characteristic to the nonchalant subculture of skate, the mix of tropical-inspired and burst of flower power is the sprucing up one needs to take it from the skate park to the streets and vice versa. What makes this iteration between Vans and Kenzo all the more covetable is that the print lends it a nostalgic appeal that is all the rage with kids these days.
Drawing us even more to the collection, Kenzo and Vans have complemented this drop with a youthful and dynamic of 46-piece ready-to-wear staples such as outerwear, tank tops, t-shirts, and hoodies, as well as of bob hats, baseball caps, backpacks, and bags all splashed with the statement florals and tropical graphics. “The Vans collaboration is a very Californian wardrobe inspired by the world of skateboarding, some bleached basics/essentials from which all jerseys are in organic cotton,” describes Kenzo Creative Director, Felipe Oliveira Baptista. Producing what is truly a lifestyle as opposed to just another popping collection, the Kenzo and Vans partnership is truly of the moment. In fact, it is this intimate and inclusive lens of the skate-loving youth that is brought to life for the campaign, which features a raw reportage of images and videos of real-life skaters and friends in Los Angeles, including Tre’Veon Ladson, Tyron Watts, Vincent Nava, Omoye Brown, Surish Singh, David Branom, and Rebecca L’Amore.
Now, even if you are completely averse or at least not remotely into the skate culture at all, the Kenzo and Vans collection will still fit right in with you, even if it just a pair of its prized printed pair or a piece to liven up your daily uniform. With everything made available from the coming together of two brands, from the energy and the collection I will have to echo Ms. Carly Rae Jepsen here: Now I don’t hate California after all.
Cop the Kenzo and Vans capsule collection available now in-store at Akimbo in Uptown Bonifacio or online at akimbo.ph.