The newest collaborative sneakers from Vans come in a box adorned with some text: “We are all cut from different fabrics but together make a whole.” That message comes courtesy of Kids of Immigrants, a rising Los Angeles brand and Van’s latest collaborative partner. Founded by Daniel Buezo and Weleh Dennis, two first-generation Americans, Kids of Immigrants has been quick to rise—it’s rare to see any brand snap up cosigns from Bad Bunny, Odell Beckham Jr., and Lil Uzi Vert in the early going, but that’s what KoI has done. This sneaker marks the first time the two labels have teamed up, and it’s a first-time collaboration that is sure to make some noise.
The sneaker itself is the brand’s unique take on the Lowland CC style, which is a 1990s-inspired skate shoe and about as under-the-radar of a Vans silhouette as it gets. The concept behind the collaboration is that each pair, blank and pared-back to its most basic form, is meant to be a canvas for customization and comes outfitted with a paintbrush and sandpaper. The brand gives you a head start: the design is built around a stark and industrial palette, inspired by Buezo’s father, a longtime construction worker. Each sneaker has been hand-distressed by the Kids of Immigrants team; a detail and process that took them nearly a week to complete.
This collaboration comes via Foot Locker’s Greenhouse program, an initiative that pairs big-time labels with up-and-comers. (It’s the same program that paired designer Anwar Carrots with Crocs just last month.) True to the Kids of Immigrants ethos, a portion of sales will go to A New Way of Life, a non-profit supporting women rebuilding their lives after prison. A chance to get a great-looking pair of kicks and support a brand that betters its community at the same time? Buying sneakers doesn’t get much better than that.
$100, available October 2 via Kids of Immigrants and Foot Locker.