To help celebrate Bodega’s 15th anniversary, we have teamed up with Vault by Vans on a special edition OG Style 36 LX
Like countless other old-world institutions, the traditional concept of luxury fashion has never been quite the same since being put through the meat grinder that is American popular culture. The democratization of luxury is, perhaps, the most frequently used summation of this phenomenon, and not unlike the origins of American democracy itself, the changing face of luxury has origins outside the law.
In the most basic sense, counterfeit goods are not complicated. They are inferior products, of uncertain provenance, bearing the names and likenesses of the genuine articles. Fakes being passed off as authentic in other words. It’s not exactly surprising to find luxury bootleggers in any large city; actually, in the digital age, it isn’t surprising to find them everywhere. During the 1980s and 1990s however, a new take on counterfeit luxury manifested, that drove brands to madness, beyond the usual issue of copyright enforcement.
In addition to the standard fake copies of real products, items that the luxury houses did not manufacture themselves started appearing. Tracksuits, graphic t-shirts and sweatshirts, baseball caps, wristwatches, and pretty much any other fixture of casual sportswear that you can name, all bearing the livery of world-famous luxury houses. Eventually this trend would migrate to the cornerstone of street fashion, sneakers. The outlaw ingenuity saw counterfeit products being cut up and applied to the logos of perennial favorite footwear styles. Just like that the luxury sneaker was born, in spirit anyway.
As far as the actual brands were concerned, the headache caused by all this came in the form of diminished perception. What could possibly be the point of paying full price for the real deal on 5th Avenue, just to demonstrate that you share the same taste as the person who bought the same label at a 2 for $20 bargain, off a folding table in Midtown? The price of luxury goods had always been paid with the understanding that status and exclusivity were part of the deal. These dueling expectations would come to define the democratization of luxury.
Democratization doesn’t simply refer to mass market availability. There was a deeper desire expressed through the rise of the more customized bootleg goods, the desire to elevate the personal sense of style to the level of the big luxury names. If you wanted to fully romanticize it, you could say it was all based daring to dream. In practice, though, the broad appeal of these goods marked the way forward for the traditional labels, who would take a more expansive view of what luxury could be, as they moved through the ‘90s and into the new millennium.
To help celebrate Bodega’s 15th anniversary, we have teamed up with Vault by Vans on a special edition OG Style 36 LX that filters the individuality focused legacy of Vans’ custom fabrics and patterns through the lens of these street side ‘designer’ goods. Don’t worry though, while the spirit of the design may be inspired cheeky, less than official ingenuity, with Bodega and Vault by Vans, the quality is always genuine. After 15 years we know. It takes more than just a name to be real.
The Bodega x Vault by Vans OG Style 36 LX will be available online, Friday, April 2, at 10am EST on a first come, first served basis
Talent: Maria Beltre
Photographer & Director: Yavez Anthonio
Photo Assistant: Katherine Conde
Production: Ojeras LLC
Assistant Producer: Jordanis Sapuis
Hair Stylist: Tomoaki Soto
Make Up Artist: Sena Murahashi
Stylist: Ashly Tsao
Stylist Assistant: Olivia Jakubik
Grip: Enmi Yang
Nail Artist & Hand Model: Angie Michelle of Pimp My Set