When you think of the Post-War and Mid-Century periods, you might get very different impressions but as it turns out these cultural shifts were more intertwined than they seemed. Not only did they exist during the same time, but they also changed the perception of consumer goods forever.
Mid-Century brought in this whole new perspective on furniture, architecture, and design. Moving away from the heavy, sluggish, and overly practical designs of decades past, MCM streamlined elegance, getting rid of dead weight but keeping the functionality train full steam ahead. Newfound luxury was here, and it wasn’t decadent or gluttonous but the opposite. Minimal, refined, even avant-garde to the point where you either got it or you didn’t, and even if you didn’t, you pretended like you did.
On the other hand, the Post-War side of things was a little more straightforward, especially when it came to the physical reminders of war, namely the surplus uniforms, clothing, and accessories that were manufactured but remained unused. After all, no one knew how long the conflict would last. As a result, stores started popping up selling these unused garments not for the sake of fighting but for everyday life. With GIs continuing to use their field-worn clothing on the home front serving as the perfect advert, these durable, timeless styles were quickly absorbed by the masses.
Amidst this clash of uptown and down-home culture shifts, this little rubber company out in Anaheim, California was quietly revolutionizing the sneaker industry, manufacturing their footwear on-site and selling directly to the consumer.
So, when approaching our latest Vault by Vans collab, with the Chukka in our kaleidoscoped crosshairs, we gave the surf and skateboards a break and tried tapping into something a little harder to pin down. A feeling from a time, translated to the present day.
Gaining popularity and going on to define a whole generation, Vans came on the scene when the MCM movement was in full swing but also at a time when militarization still loomed large.
So, when it came to paying homage to this context, we knew we had to take a trip back in time amongst the unique palettes, unhinged gelatin-based dishes, and far-out interior design, in addition to the rugged influences of the war effort.
With one pair decked out in suede, echoing the period’s fondness for the rough-out material capturing the pop culture world by storm, and one pair done up in canvas which represented the hard-wearing material that made the world go round, our Mid-Top Modern Chukka Pack covers all the bases. And with complementary colorways, mixing light greens and washed-out brown tones, we couldn't have achieved a more period-correct combination if we'd been there!
Adding another dimension are the eye-catching mesh tongues which reference caned detailing on some furniture of the time, a porous weave made from the bark of rattan. The metal and tortoise eyelets, and metal aglets on the other hand provide the finishing touches that could pull any room together.
Grounded by a vulcanized rubber sole which calls back to early deck footwear our Chukka Pack might look simple enough but under the surface, there are more layers than the shrimp, pineapple, and mayonnaise Jell-O salad from the family cookbook. Closed out with a blue jolt in the lining to disrupt the status quo, all that's left to do is call the movers.
Release Info: Friday. April 14, 2023
Available online at 12pm EST and in-store at both our Boston and Los Angeles locations on a first come, first served basis.