Las Vegas has the tendency of making unusual bedfellows. Though it is a city predominantly known for its history of gambling and the brazen improbability of its reputation as an oasis surrounded by desert, it isn’t actually short on style either. Think Sinatra and his dapper Rat Pack crew. A new collaboration between the Palms Casino Resort, Vans and Damien Hirst brings the town’s sartorial history swiftly into the 21st century.
The six-piece capsule collection features two of Vans’ signature styles––the Sk8-Hi and Classic Slip-On––reinterpreted with some of Hirst’s favorite motifs, like polka-dots, butterflies and skulls. This partnership is one facet of an ongoing relationship between Hirst and the Palms, for which he has designed the exclusive (and pricey) Empathy Suite and installed The Unknown (Explored, Explained, Exploded), his famous sculpture of a tiger shark divided into three segments.
“It’s fabulous to be collaborating with Palms and Vans on this project,” said Hirst in a statement. “I’ve always loved Vans and the artwork works brilliantly on these shoes. I can’t wait for people to see them. It’s amazing for an artist to have the sort of freedom Palms and Vans have given me.” Tal Cooperman, Creative Director at Palms Casino Resort, also reinforced why Vans was the right third party to join their creative efforts. “I could not think of a better partner to continue our collaboration with Hirst than Vans, a fashion trailblazer that also heralds the importance of art’s position in today’s culture,” he said.
Cooperman aptly touches on one of Vans’ most important aspects: its place in the culture. Its slender slip-ons alone are the footwear of choice for skaters, artists, athletes and beyond. And something about them looks even better when they’re at least a little beaten up, the lived-in quality uniquely reflecting the wearer and his daily life. Hirst rendered the style in three versions: one pair with a gray upper accented by butterflies and a painting detail; one mismatched pair with both the traditional checkerboard print and Hirst’s polka-dots; one with a spin skull design and black side panels.
The Vault by Vans x Damien Hirst collection will be available on Friday, December 6 exclusively at the Vault by Vans retail store located at 219 Bowery in New York City and the Palms Casino Resort, located at 4321 W Flamingo Rd. in Las Vegas.