Tomorrow is the launch day of the long awaited Vans collection inspired by the classic 8-bit NES games by the Japanese company Nintendo. The American skateboarding and footwear company has a long collaborations’ story with pop culture institutions (Marvel, Andy Warhol, Beatles, New Order and several music bands amongst others). Now, they have teamed with the legendary games company Nintendo to launch a collection comprising of footwear, garments and accessories.
The legacy of Nintendo is vast and deeply influential. Since their beginning in late XIX century as a playing cards producer, Nintendo gained success using their strict work ethics which in a way somewhat relates to the brand’s name (Nintendo means leave luck to heaven in Japanese). They made their first video game in 1978 after hiring the young Shigeru Miyamoto, a 24 year old illustrator who idolized Walt Disney’s universe as a child, as the company’s first staff artist. He would eventually become the creator of some of the most iconic sagas in the Nintendo universe: Donkey Kong, Mario, Zelda and the Wii series.
The inspiration from the Vans pack comes from a handful of different trends. On one side, the gaming nostalgia and retrogaming trend, deeply rooted in the remix culture we’re living in, affecting particularly the so called millennials whom developed a big brand loyalty to Nintendo. The 90s vintage comeback is one of the effects of this nostalgic trend and can also be considered a deep stylistic influence for this collection. Related to this nostalgic trend, we can find as well the geek is the new chic maxim we’ve been seeing both in fashion and streetwear lately, as in Agi & Sam LEGO masks or in pixel and glitch prints (KOTTÉ‘s first collections are good examples of this trend in the underground fashion design sector). On the other side, this collection is obviously influenced by vintage gaming aesthetics, something we can trace in the massive use of neon and indexed colour palettes and also in the appreciation of 8-bit inspired and pixelated shapes. All of these influences are applied to the beloved classic Vans Sk8-Hi, Old Skool and Classic slip-ons designs.
As for the pack itself, the collection is organised in several categories echoing the way customers consumed Nintendo games in those early pioneering years. There’s a basic pack consisting of designs based on the NES console and its controllers, now a fetishist consumption product tingling in millennials‘ hearts.
The next collection comes by the hand of the most successful Nintendo series after Wii and one of the most iconic and recognizable characters of video games history, Super Mario. Due to this saga relevance this part of the pack has several different branches. One is starred by Mario himself, his brother Luigi and several minor characters of the universe like Koopa, Toad, Yoshi…
Another one has Mario as a main character again but this time focusing on the iconic GAME OVER text we all had seen when our playing ability was not at its peak. The slides on this category can’t be cooler!
Finally, Princess Peach not surprisingly has her own branch of the collection. At the end she was the reason Mario has to deal with all those trials and difficulties that provided us with so many hours of fun. And, of course, pink is always an awesome colour to wear!
Are you ready for this geeky retrogaming trend? Because we can’t wait until tomorrow to have this awesome collection in our hands and start to seeing it on the streets!
by Marcos F Gallego