Pin It
coors beer Cult vans collaborations
Vans x Coorsvia Spin magazine

Three cult Vans collabs you never knew existed

To celebrate the shoe kings’ latest partnership, we asked some hardcore Vans collectors for their ultimate archive picks

With endless pair-ups between brands keeping the hype machine running, it can be easy to forget the pioneers who shaped the art of collaboration. But whether partnering with the likes of Slayer, Star Wars, MTV or just letting kids customise their own kicks in their California store, it's always been a big part of Vans’ heritage. This summer they’re revisiting one of their most beloved (and collectible) partnerships, joining forces with Disney (whom they originally worked with back in the 80s) for a new capsule collection, shown in an after hours presentation in the middle of Disneyland Paris. To celebrate this latest collaborative effort, we teamed up with some certified Vans obsessives – the collectors behind London’s vintage Vans store The Other Side of the Pillow – and got their top three most cult collabs.


Starring Sean Penn as a Californian skater boy long before the teen films of the 90s would tire out the stereotype, Fast Times at Ridgemont High is an 80s comedy classic. Penn’s character Jeff Spicoli is particularly notable for his pair of checkerboard slip on Vans (an item the actor personally suggested for his character's wardrobe). The film propelled the shoes to icon status, and to celebrate, Vans released a super limited edition official style with 'Fast Times' around the sole. 


Vans weren’t initially created as skate shoes – it was their rubber soles that found them fans amongst that crowd. Nevertheless, they’ve always embraced their board-riding friends, as a 1988 collaboration showed. They joined forces with Madrid Skateboards, a company born under the same Cali sun as Vans themselves, for a pair decorated with the famed fly silhouette that marked Madrid’s grip tape, favoured by skaters for use on their boards.


“Like the popular brew, these shoes are natural choice for hanging out and having fun.” So ran the ads for this 1990 collab between Vans and Coors beer – one image showing the sneaks resting on a fridge shelf. Available in four colourways, the shoes were offered in a summer fun giveaway by Spin magazine that had readers pair such timeless classic chart hits as U2's “With or Without You” with the year of release. Cool shoes indeed. 

Disney x Vans is out now. Head to London’s House of Vans until June 14th to see an exhibition celebrating their partnership – featuring vintage styles donated by The Other Side of the Pillow. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram.