Vans Dropped a David Bowie-Inspired Collection and It’s Insane

This is Major Tom to Ground Control: Vans dropped a much-anticipated David Bowie-inspired line of limited-edition shoes, shirts, and hats, and we’re seeing stars and lightning bolts.

The California-based skate brand synonymous with checkered canvas released the Vans x Bowie Off The Wall line this month, remixing the most iconic Vans models with designs that honor the legendary Starman, his albums, and his alter egos.

david bowie vans collection

Among the collection, which is selling out at lightspeed, are three shirts paying homage to Serious Moonlight, Ziggy Stardust, and Aladdin Sane, as well as one jockey hat and one trucker — after all, this is Vans. The shining star, however, is the five shoes inspired by five landmark David Bowie records, songs, and personas, including “Space Oddity,” Hunky Dory, Aladdin Sane, and Blackstar. Models range from a classic Slip-On to Sk8-Hi and Old Skool. Each style is detailed with sole engravings and hidden Bowie hints while maintaining a classic and clean aesthetic.

Chronologically, the first Vans shoe of the collection is a Space Oddity Era with it intergalactic spheres in green and blue and “Oddity” etched on the sole. The Era was inspired by Bowie’s first hit single from 1969.

The Hunky Dory Slip-On 47 Vs may look familiar if you bought the 1971 album because the furry checkered pattern was inspired by the coat Bowie wears on the cover. A Velcro strap stitched with David Bowie’s name secures the foot in place of laces and the album name is sunken into the sole in matching chunky letters.

Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns/Getty Images (left)

Red Sk8-Hi shoes mark the next evolution of Ziggy, honoring the fire-engine hair of his glam alter ego. The black platforms are perfect for squashing spiders from Mars.

Both the Old Skool and Sk8-Hi models adopt the epic Aladdin Sane moniker from the album of the same name released in 1973, arguably one the most recognizable covers of the century. It’s a mix of hard rock, art rock, pop, and glam, so it’s suiting that Vans divided these moods into two shoes; the Sk8-Hi leans toward rock and the Old Skool honors the colorful glam lightning bolt we could recognize a mile away.

The last shoe, an all-black Slip-On, recognizes Bowie’s last album, Blackstar, released days before his passing. A patent black star sprawls the upper and a speckled starscape lines the interior.

We’re just surprised there are no platform-heel boots in the collection. There are, however, toddler shoes offered in the Sk8-Hi and Old Skool styles.

Moderately priced at or below $80, now is the time to put on your red shoes and dance the blues (or skate, or whatever) and celebrate the Thin White Duke. This is the tribute we’ve been waiting for since Bowie passed away in January 2016 from liver cancer.

This collab couldn’t be any more perfect, as both Bowie and Vans stand for championing the different and celebrating the strange. Vans x Bowie comes at the heel of another rocking line with Led Zeppelin. The limited capsule celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Led Zeppelin’s debut self-titled album and, unlike the full 16-item Bowie capsule, only had three pieces (two shoes and a shirt). If you’re goo-goo eyed over the Bowie line, you’ll have a whole lotta love for the Led Zeppelin-inspired Vans, but they’re all sold out.

Vans X Bowie is also going quick. On the brand’s Instagram page, Vans recommended to followers, “If we don’t have your size available online, you should also check with your local shop (vans.com/dealers) or with one of our partner stores (like Zumiez, Journeys, PacSun, ASOS, etc).”

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