Vans x Engineered Garments – 1966 Visits 2013

Everyone talks about the old days. The 90s, the 80s, the 70s, the 60s, etc. As the typical line goes everything was made better, we had better music, then we drown out the boring monologue that ensues. However recently over the past few years, especially in 2013 there have been an explosion of reproductions and retros by many big name companies. Converse, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, New Balance, and even Vans have become apart of this tend, or maybe I should say lifestyle. Theres always something that a shoe is missing that prevents it from being a true reproduction. Converse and Nike being prime examples of this. New Balance is one of the few brands that can honestly say they make reproductions of some of their classic shoes. One of the reasons why reproductions and retros are becoming so popular is mainly of their look and their quality. The original just looks so different and unique compared to their modern day predecessors, but buying vintage is a lifestyle all its own. You can’t always buy into it, Theres a lot of groundwork that needs to be done. Retro is the obvious surrogate to the dilemma of trying to buy vintage shoes or clothes.

Engineered Garments is a New York based artisan brand. They make their products with the best American materials they can find. They take old ideas and spin them with modern day thinking. Take your time making a great quality jacket with inspiration from vintage clothing, but make it look cool with modern trends combined with aesthetics. With artisan brands the materials they use are always well thought out, they don’t just grab any piece of cotton or any old piece of leather. It has to be meaningful, it has to reflect a certain idea. Engineered Garments is a very Americana influenced brand. They look at older style of clothing from the 50s and earlier, as well as looking at military clothing and make them look hip(ster). Instead of clothes fitting looser or having a fitted cut, many of their jackets, pants, etc have slimmer fits. Likewise their use of color brings a bolder look to America’s old fashion styles of the Cold War. Earlier this September Engineered Garments  opened a pop up shop at Nepenthes New York. The theme was to do a mismatch of leather and suede on some blazers, provoking a strong contrast of two items which in reality share the same origin. Both Vans and New Balance came to join Engineered Garments for their pop up shop.

Vans is currently celebrating its Vault line’s 10th anniversary and as a result have been releasing a lot of limited run collabs with various distinguished brands. For this particular collab there were two releases.  Slip-Ons with mismatched leather and suede uppers on opposing sides of both shoes and Authentics made with Americana type materials. While the former of the two are probably the most eye catching, the Authentics are also very sought after as one pair is made with a 12 oz sunforger canvas, while the other is made with an olive sateen upper. A 12 oz sunforger canvas can be used to pitch a tent in the wilderness or even to protect a boat’s deck at sea from the sun. So this specific material plays back to Vans using thick duck canvas’ for their original release of Authentics, or style 44 as they were original called. Further paying tribute to the Authentic Engineered Garments chose to make the Authentics look like they did back in 1966. While not  true reproductions they look closer to what they did back in 1966. They have a backstay, the sole design is slightly different, they use cotton laces, the bumper doesn’t wrapped around the front of the shoes as much,  and they choose to use an older retro label for the back of the shoe. So in essence they made a retro or “OG” Authentic. If you’re someone thats into the retro scene, or just likes how the older Vans look, you might be into this. If you’re all about the vintage life and Americana this is probably nothing to special. In any case this is still one of Vans Vault’s better years.

A retro Van Doren box is used.

A backstay is present on the heel of the shoe.

All white pinstriping is used. Metal eyelets are used, possibly made of a nickel alloy. The bumper doesn’t wrap around the front of the shoe as much as the modern Authentics do.

A white on white Vans side tab is used instead of the typical color on white side tabs.

A light yellow Off The Wall logo was chosen instead of the traditional red logo.

Leather glued to inside of shoes heel.

Matching laces included.

Sateen version.

One of the mismatched Slip-On shoes.

The collection also included clothing.

*Only available at the Nepenthes shop in New York. They do accept phone orders.

*May be sold out.

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