After the success of their first collection in April, the sneaker world has been wondering what else KICKS/HI and Vans Vault cooked up in the lab. Today, we finally get to see the fruits of their labor, a design that took over a year to create.
As you’ve come to know, KICKS/HI prides themselves on their ability to tell stories that resonate beyond the given physical aesthetics of the product they are addressing. Every detail is important to the overall design, as it is to a story, and there are so many stories to be told about Hawaii’s past, present and future. And using the Authentic LX as their canvas, the inspiration for the design is drawn from the attire of Hawaiian cowboys, also known as “Paniolos.”
In the 1830s, King Kamehameha III commissioned Mexican-Spanish Vaqueros from the King of Spain to come to Hawaii to train Hawaiians in the art of ranching. The Spanish brought with them a certain flair – from their style of dress to their intricately carved custom leather saddles, whips and silver spurs. This knack for rugged pageantry has carried on to this day. For cowboys in Hawaii, the denim in jeans has historically had to be raw in able to handle 10-14 hours riding a horse along hazardous terrain. But for their shirting, the fabrics needed to be a little more breathable to accommodate for the humid island climate – hence cotton twills or chambray. It is this mix of chambray shirting and leather saddles, belts and boots that is the main influence behind this collaboration.
If you want to get your hands on a pair, the KICKS/HI x Vans Vault Authentic LX will be available exclusively at KICKS/HI (Honolulu), KICKS/HI (Guam) and Saint Alfred on August 4.