The Netflix series “Stranger Things” is a runaway hit — and now fans can run away with customized Vans slip-ons inspired by the show.
The upper is painted black and features a portrait of the character Eleven (actress Millie Bobby Brown) on one of the shoes, and the series logo is on the other. Some design treatments include the character Barb (actress Shannon Purser) sitting on a diving board, with a monster’s silhouette set in a green background that represents water.
The word “Run” is painted in black on both white midsoles, and the heels include “Mouth” on one side and “Breather” on the other.
“Stranger Things” — a supernatural drama starring Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Cara Buono and Matthew Modine — was given the green light for Season 2 (returning next year) on Wednesday after finding success on the streaming platform since its debut on July 15.
The stylized show follows the mysterious events that happen in 1980s Indiana after a boy (actor Noah Schnapp) encounters a monster and disappears.
Here, LaSane — a writer and sneaker artist — chats with Footwear News about what inspires his sneaker designs.
FN: What do you find appealing about “Stranger Things”?
AL: “I’m a big fan of all things horror, thriller and sci-fi, and the show just did all of that stuff really well. It was cool to pick up on a lot of the pop culture references from movies like ‘E.T.’ and ‘Under the Skin.’ And I really loved the smaller details like the stereo equipment, cars and movie posters for ‘Evil Dead,’ ‘The Thing’ and ‘The Dark Crystal.’ ”
FN: Your Instagram page and some sneaker designs include some political themes — what topics and subjects move you, and how does that play into your shoe designs and inspiration?
AL: “I’m all over the place in terms of subjects that move me and political themes. I have a bachelor’s degree in American Studies (Skidmore College) and minored in sociology, and I have my master’s in media, culture and communications (New York University), so I think all of that influences my work, but very few of those make it onto shoes just because it’s not the cheapest form of expression and I don’t necessarily want to rock ‘Black Lives Matter’ or 1970 Kent State Shooting shoes every day. I have a pair of Olympic Jordan 6s that I turned into ‘Black Olympic Jordan 6s’ with the logo for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics on the side because that’s when Tommie Smith and John Carlos did the Black Power salute on the medal podium. I also started a pair of ‘Blood on the Leaves’ shoes back when Kanye dropped ‘Yeezus’ and I heard that song. I used some old floral print fabric on the sides and painted the shoes black and gold with red splattered all over them, and a painted symbol of person hanging from a noose with a gold chain and a pair of red Yeezys on. As a general rule, I don’t think all art has to be high concept or political for it to be good, it just has to appeal to the artist or connect with at least one viewer.”
FN: You publish the various stages of your designs on Instagram, but are you looking for feedback or concerned about Internet trolls?
AL: “I post progress pictures so people can see what I’m working on and so that I can have some kind of digital paper trail to see how it all came together. I think people appreciate things more when they witness the journey.”
FN: How did you get into sneaker design?
AL: “I got into customs around 2006 when I went to college. Back then, the SoleCollector forums and Niketalk were the only places where customizers and fans of customs could post and talk about it. I would stalk artists on MySpace and read their tips and tutorials on the forums to see how they did the things they did.”