Dallas Stokes on the Van Grack shoe story.
The Van Grack Vision is officially out in stores now and the history of the shoe is amazing. The Vision is actually four years old and was built back in 2008 to be an exclusive giveaway for a party at NBA All-Star weekend. The design was not finished in time so I decided to go with a different set of shoes for the gift bags and shelved the design. Soon after plans on getting a full line done came to a halt when things slowed down at retail due to the recession. I considered using the design in other lines I worked on but never really could bring myself over the years to do so.
Inspired by candy paint jobs on cars, motorcycle frames and classic footwear from back in the day, the Van Grack Vision is a stable shoe for the line. I created it to be relevant now and in the future so the design cues were all purposely done. There’s a huge clean classic toe with the perfs in the flex area for breathability, and it also helps keep the toe down view pleasant. The original pattern had a toe cap on it until I 86′d it because it slowed the look of the shoe down and I just love clean toes. The Vision pattern was set up for optimal color blocking so in the future when we start doing other materials and colors you can see it from a block away and know what it is. The boot-like eyelet system with the collar drop gives it that ability to go from casual to functional when needed. The midsole was created to mock the cup sole bottoms of classic athletic footwear. It’s truly just my attempt at creating a classic type of shoe. Both the low and mid are my favorite shoes in the line and to this day sometimes I sit and watch my friends who walk around wearing them. Hopefully when you get a chance to see them in person you will feel the same way.
Dallas Stokes is a 20-year footwear industry veteran. His current shoe design projects include BALL’N, Protege, Sean John, Rim Rocka, Van Grack, Militia Project, and The Dallas Stokes Collection. Read his interviews here and here.
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