January 30, 2014 BY Aaron Kr. / 9
The Beatles have permeated nearly every imaginable nook and cranny of popular culture, and even fifty years after their legendary first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, their music and the iconic imagery associated with the band are still as omnipresent and relevant as they’ve ever been. With an ever-growing fanbase of devoted diehards to appease, providing Beatles-centric merchandise and memorabilia has always been a vast and profitable enterprise. The band’s likenesses, logos, and album art have graced everything from t-shirts to gallery art to mugs and keychains, but curiously, it took until 2014 to finally make their way onto a sneaker.
If you think about it, there’s really only one brand that jumps out as the logical partner for a project like this. Not only did Vans come of age during the same ’60s era as The Beatles, but their ties to rebellious music and the culture around it goes back just as far. Vans has already done capsules honoring legendary artists like Metallica, Kiss, AC/DC and countless others, and their timeless silhouettes offer wearable options to a wide demographic of consumers. The perfect fit was in place, but then came the difficult decision of choosing a concept from the crowded pool of possibilities.
The Yellow Submarine album was The Beatles’ tenth studio release, but more significantly, the 1968 film it played soundtrack to was one of the band’s most groundbreaking endeavors and supplied a flood of lasting visual reference points. Years before there was an MTV, the Fab 4 were already revolutionizing the notion of music videos with their full-length animated epic and the lush psychedelic artwork that it’s best remembered for. The innovative film brought an air of sophistication to animation as an artform, proving that it could be a tool for beautiful expression and wasn’t limited to just cartoons for children.
This March, Vans will honor The Beatles and the imagery of Yellow Submarine with a colorful four-shoe capsule featuring intricate artwork taken directly from the movie screen. Each shoe in the collection references a recognizable scene from the film on the uppers with additional Yellow Submarine graphics found on the woven labels and footbeds, as well as the special edition packaging. It may have taken a long while to come to fruition, but it’s safe to say that Vans absolutely nailed it in terms of capturing the vibrant essence of its subject and staying true to something that’s so revered by so many. Keep reading for a closer look at all four shoes and keep an eye out at Vans retailers in the near future.