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You don’t have to be a shoe snob or certified sneakerhead to know that the latest Taka Hayashi for Vault by Vans collection is 100-per-cent street-style cool.

Riffing off old-school Vans shoe designs, the fall/winter collection features two capsules of low, mid and high-top styles, including the TH Sk8 Mid Skool LX and the TH Era Huarache LX.

Crafted from fabrics such as leather, nubuck, premier pig suede and Italian woven textiles, the latest releases feature eye-catching extras such as diamond-embossed accents, perforations, laser-etched accents and rawhide laces. They’re pretty much works of art for your feet. Hayashi chatted with us about his favourite shoe, and what he likes about Vancouver.

How and when did you first partner up with Vans?

A I was approached by a friend who was consulting at Vans for a new line called “Syndicate” in 2004. He was familiar with my art and graphic design work from Stussy and thought I would be the right fit for this project.

Since your first collaboration with the brand, how have your designs evolved?

A It definitely has evolved throughout the years — going on the 15th season. It evolved from 2D graphic application on footwear in the beginning to designing footwear from the ground up. As an artist, I love to experiment with materials, treatments, and creating unique silhouettes.

After so many successful releases, what is it about the Vault by Vans concept that attracts fans of your art?

A I think it’s the artistic approach, quality of materials, attention to details and the uniqueness while still being grounded to Vans heritage.

How does your artwork influence your shoes designs? Do you think of the shoe style first and then the art, or vice versa?

A It goes both ways. Sometimes I have an idea about a certain silhouette and at other times I start with a graphic pattern and it flows from there.

Do you have a favourite design from the Fall 2014 collection?

A I think they’re all pretty great, but the TH Sk8 Huarache LX is a standout for me this fall.

What’s the average price point of your Vault by Vans creations?

A I would say from $150 (R1858,73) to $300 (R3717,46).

What inspires you — where do you get your ideas?

A I find inspiration in many places. During travels, through art and music. Just anywhere and everywhere, really.

You’re hosting a public event at Sneakerbox in (Burnaby) today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. What can shoppers expect to find there?

A My Fall 2014 TH collection and some special limited screen-print posters.

Is this your first trip to Vancouver?

A This will be my second visit to Vancouver. I love it here. The art and design scene, great food and cool atmosphere.

Finally, what’s next for you? Any chance you can share a hint about your next Vans release?

A There are some great styles in the works, and possibly a new silhouette.

To learn more about the Taka Hayashi for Vault by Vans collaboration, visit

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By Aleesha Harris | The Vancouver Sun
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