Vans and Sole Classics Revisit Their First-Ever Authentic Collab

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Vans’ latest collaboration is with Ohio-based retailer Sole Classics for an updated version of their first sneaker project.

The two entities teamed up in 2013 to drop their ultra-limited Vans Authentic “Carmen” collab, which referenced the story of Ohio high school football player Jack Henderson and his golden-brown cleats. In 1963, Henderson ran the longest run from scrimmage in the state’s history of high school football for the game-winning 99-yard play. Shortly after, he ran right out of the stadium and was never seen again. A month after, a pair of golden brown cleats was found by Lake Eerie, which was nearly 250 miles away and the shoes were believed to be Henderson’s. In 1996, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles redesigned its license plates with colors unofficially inspired by the legacy of Henderson.

There were supposed to include only 200 pairs of the style. However, the brands learned prior to the drop that 86 pairs did not meet quality control standards. For this year, the collaborators are releasing the remaining pairs of the Authentic “Carmen” collab.

To help bring this latest project to life, Sole Classics owner Dionte Johnson tapped two of the store’s long-time employees and local designers Sunday Pizza and Dan Dover of Pretty Good Co. to hand-dye and finish the remaining pairs of the collab.

Sole Classics x Vans Authentic 'Carmen'
The Sole Classics x Vans Authentic “Carmen” collab.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Vans

The collab features a golden upper that’s paired with hand-dyed navy shoelaces mimicking the ’96 Ohio license plate and an orange Vans tab representing the Ohio plate sticker. Completing the look is a red outsole, which is inspired by the Ohio state slogan “The Heart of it All.”

The remaining 86 pairs of the Sole Classics x Vans Authentic “Carmen” collab will be released this Saturday exclusively at SoleClassics.com and at Sole Classics’ flagship store.

For fans who aren’t interested in waiting for the collab, styles of the Vans Authentic are available now at Vans.com for $50 each.

Vans Authentic

Vans Authentic
Vans’ Authentic sneakers.
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