I was meandering around a shop looking for backpacks when I stopped, quite startled with delight. I had seen the Snoopy Shoe: the best of shoes. Behold it now. Scream! I love it. It’s two things at once.
Vans x Peanuts is a whole line; popular with the YouTube sneaks-review set, a collaboration between the skate apparel brand we all know and love from those big soap-shaped shoes we all wore in 2000 and the estate of Charles M. Schultz, whose Peanuts strip is one of the biggest comic successes of its century. Or, I suppose I must allow as I am presented with this evidence, of ours. As described here,
“Using vintage illustrations from the late ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, Vans designers bring “Off The Wall” elements to iconic Peanuts moments that remain true to Vans’ unique design aesthetic.”
The impression given, then, is that these are Schultz’ own drawings on Vans’ clothes/shoes/etc–as close a real collaboration as you’re likely to get between a dead guy and a brand. So do we like them? Are they cute? How would we wear them? Which are our faves? I asked the ol’ gang.
Woodstock the cool, the exclusive. Snoopy is the only non-bird that can speak Woodstock’s language, which primarily consists of tiny ticks that mean words, and lots of “?” and “!” moments. I’ve always loved the obscure emotions around Woodstock and Snoopy’s best friendship, and how they communicate. He’s the best copilot for Snoopy’s adventures and bails the beagle out when necessary. As a child reading through my mother’s extensive Peanuts collection, I always connected with Woodstock because I had a strong desire to be like him. It’s funny to say that a little girl wanted to be like a bird, especially one who never communicated with human words, but Woodstock’s suave and sassy behavior was something that attracted me to his personality. I also happen to primarily wear thick-soled Vans, especially black and white ones, so these clean white Woodstock thick-soles are immensely appealing and I’ll have to get a pair. Then Woodstock and I can be BFFs and he can be my suave and sassy copilot on our adventures.
When I was 13 years old, I got a yellow shirt with a Charlie Brown print from a thrift shop in Sacramento. It became something of a trademark–I had a pair of green corduroy shorts that I always paired it with, and this was a Look. It was my perfect, cool, ’90s skate culture avatar, and I kept that shirt until it became so threadbare that it literally fell apart in the washing machine–I even artificially extended the life of it by coloring in the fading screenprint stripe with a sharpie after each wash. I loved it so much that there was talk, even then, of framing the thing and hanging it on the wall, in that laughing, joking, not-really-but-kinda-really way. When I spotted these shoes in person while strolling through the mall a couple of months ago, I stopped dead in my tracks, because here was this earnest, lovely nostalgic reminder of a simple and joyful adolescent memory–and paired with a shoe brand known for skate shoes no less! I’m especially fond of the fact that the tongues on these shoes read “GOOD GRIEF,” because that’s kind of what nostalgia is, isn’t it? It’s a shame these sold out first–I want a pair very badly.
I’m not really a fan of how Vans and Converse style shoes fit on me, which is why I almost never wear my Batgirl ones that I’ve had for years. However, I could easily see myself wearing this dress, probably paired with a good summer wedge.
Other than the Vans X Peanuts Sk8-Hi Moc Shoes, which really can’t be beat, I’m partial to this t-shirt. I don’t especially like wearing t-shirts (if I have to I am always happier in a ringer) but I do like design elements that do double duty–the shoe uses a style of fringe that is already a part of the vocabulary of shoes to form the roof of Snoopy’s kennel, and this shirt allows the familiar red Vans logo to stand for the same. That’s just neat; embracing design synergy is what makes a collaboration (or, in comic book parlance, a crossover) really work because it removes objectionable answers to the question “why?” and replaces them with a simple positive: because they dance together so well! The blue edging is well-chosen because it completes the primary colour troika started by “Vans” and volleyed by Woodstock there. The causal shaping of the shirt is nice, too. Some drape, some shape, but not too much of either.