There are only a few ways in which a designer or artist can play around with a classic. Reinterpreting and reinventing such pieces are usually tricky, especially if that piece has such a strong retail presence. However, that hasn’t stopped various entities in the fashion industry from putting their own spin into mega-favorites. From haute couture houses to even sneaker culture, several classics have been played around for decades, such as Vans’ checkerboard slip-ons, which was recently reiterated by Japanese brand N. Hollywood.
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Release date: August 12, 2017
Price when reviewed: $50
Japanese fashion label N. Hollywood has been partnering up with American brand Vans for quite some time now. They’ve released countless collaborative pieces, integrating both signature aesthetics into prominently unique retail items. One of their latest, a play on Vans’ classic Checkerboard slip-ons, was released on August 12, 2017. Each pair costs $50, just like the original shoes.
How can another brand put a spin into such a beloved classic? N. Hollywood did it by incorporating a new material. By using premium leather for the upper, the Japanese brand transformed the classic casual shoe into a more refined and artistic pair of slip-ons. The new iteration looks less animated and casual, and more sophisticated and slightly somber. Moreover, the collaboration also put forth a black and gray combo of the classic pattern, apart from the well-known black and white colorway.
One of the best things about the original Checkerboard slip-ons was its easy durability. One simply knew that the shoes were strong enough to withstand any weather and activity. But for the N. Hollywood versions, this might not be the case. The premium leather uppers may not be as durable when in contact with rain or dirt, and might possibly be more difficult to clean and maintain. Furthermore, the shoes are not versatile for various activities as they may substantially damage when the wearer is playing sports or any other strenuous activities.
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