Following its collabs with Disney and Murakami, Vans is leaving an earth-friendly footprint with the help of local designer Charlotte Stone. Known for her minimalist-modern aesthetic, the Canada-bred, LA-based talent has upgraded a trio of skate-inspired brand's soles with 100% recycled canvas made from plastic bottles.
Priced from $57 to $66, the three-piece collection features the Solana in a ballet-inspired pink hue, the Tazie in bright white, and the Rhea SF in all black. Tapping her expertise from designing luxe shoes in Italy, the designer—who also creates cool furniture with her husband as Pacific Wonderland Inc.—incorporated luxe details like rose-gold eyelets, metallic foil printed-sock liners, and pink waffle soles.
Shop the three-pair collab in Vans stores and online here and read on below to find out Stone's SoCal story, how Tumblr kick-started the collection, and more. What are some of your fondest memories of Vans?
I grew up on the east coast of Canada in Kingston, Ontario where there wasn't much surf or skate culture, or none that I was in tune with, anyway. I knew about Vans through movies and music, but the Southern California lifestyle seemed so far from where I was.
When I moved to Los Angeles in my early twenties I worked at a shop in Manhattan Beach with this awesome girl from Orange County. She was super cool and stylish and wore Vans. I'd see all these young surfer girls skating on the strand, wearing beat-up checkerboard Vans. It was such a part of the beach culture, and I couldn't believe I was living there.
How did the collaboration come about and what was your reaction when Vans reached out?
The collaboration with Vans was a total and complete surprise that came out of the blue! I think there were some people following my Tumblr and that's how they initially found me. I remember reading the email and screaming down to my husband's studio to make him read it to me again. He doesn't always understand or get excited about my work but when the Vans collaboration happened, he was like "Holy shit, I'm coming to the meeting with you!" He called all his friends and videotaped the journey down to the Vans office. How did your experiences designing footwear in Italy influence your canvas Vans pieces?
Designing shoes in Italy is all about the materials for me. I've been working with the same leather agent for 10 years now and learned how to design some really exciting materials!
With the Vans project, I had to think about how to make them special without using leather, and also how the Vans girl was going to wear them. That's when I decided to use the recycled canvas. It felt super luxurious; it has a nap that makes it feel like kid suede, but it's durable and practical and of course the eco-component is the most important.
I'm a surfer (albeit not a very good one), and I have to take care of my environment. Every season I try to make better choices for materials and manufacturing. The copper details I used on the eyelets and lace tips were a nod to my spring collection—it was all about copper metallics that I had developed in Italy.