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Eddie Van Halen Dead at 65: A Look Back at His Legendary Style

The world of rock and roll experienced great loss yesterday with the news of Edward Van Halen’s passing. Known by his nickname Eddie, the legendary Van Halen frontman died at age 65 after a battle with cancer.

The guitarist’s son Wolf Van Halen announced the loss yesterday on Twitter, writing “He was the best father I could ever ask for Every moment I’ve shared with him on and off stage was a gift.”

As the music industry mourns the death of a rock icon, the fashion industry also feels the gaping hole now left behind from the memorable style set forth by Eddie Van Halen himself. From the start of his career, the guitarist was at the helm of the standout and outlandish looks associated with rock and roll stars during the late 20th century. From wild prints to voluminous hair and beat-up sneakers, the “Jump” musician had it all — even his guitars reflected the rebellious patterns and bright colors infamous from the period.

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Eddie Van Halen at his home in Los Angeles in 1982.
CREDIT: AP

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Eddie Van Halen performing live at The 1983 US Festival held at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, Calif., May 29, 1983.
CREDIT: Kevin Estrada/AP
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Eddie Van Halen performing live on the 1984 Tour at The Fabulous Forum in Los Angeles, May 10, 1984.
CREDIT: Kevin Estrada/AP

One of Van Halen’s go-to brands for sneakers back in the 1980s was Avia, a then hit label for athletic footwear. Founded in 1979, Avia was later acquired by Reebok in 1987, right around the time when the guitarist himself could be oftentimes found in the brand’s chunky pairs. He matched the sneakers to everything from printed tops and baggy white pants to striped cropped tees and straight-leg jeans.

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Eddie Van Halen performing with Van Halen at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin. May 29, 1988.
CREDIT: Gene Ambo/AP
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Sammy Hagar (L) and Eddie Van Halen perform during a concert at Osaka-jō Hall in Osaka, Japan on January 24, 1989.
CREDIT: The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP

As time rolled on and the 1990s made their way in, Eddie Van Halen still maintained his signature rocker style with a little help from another familiar footwear brand: Converse. Pictured at a concert in Chicago in 1986, the musician sported the epitome of a ’90s-style ensemble in a white tank top and athletic shorts layered over gray sweatpants. He finished off the outfit with classic Converse Chuck Taylor All Star sneakers, a style still beloved today for their relaxed canvas uppers and wallet-friendly $55 price tag.

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Eddie Van Halen performing at The Jason Becker Benefit at The Riveria Theatre in Chicago, Nov. 17, 1996.
CREDIT: Gene Ambo/AP

Even in the later years of his life, Eddie Van Halen never gave up his edgy look. From the 1990s until his last few performances in the later 2010s, you could always find the musician with a guitar in hand and his signature locks still as luscious as ever. He still kept up with his classic sneaker style, too, always opting for edgy yet laid-back pairs when it came to on-stage ensembles.

For over 25 years, the Van Halen Store has even provided fans with apparel and footwear inspired by the band and its leading star himself. Nowadays, you can still find sneakers, flip flops and more shoes available for purchase at VanHalenStore.com. Eddie himself also launched his own sneaker line in 2009 with pairs previously available at EVHGear.com and select department stores.

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Eddie Van Halen performs on a stop of their US Tour held at the CONSOL Energy Center in Philadelphia, March 30, 2012.
CREDIT: Devin Simmons/AP

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