Not that I’ve been sitting around waiting for another hot new Vans collab, but then the Vans x Bowie sneaker collection was announced, and suddenly I’m Konmari-ing my existing sneaker collection, and setting up a calendar alert for April 5.

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Think you can identify the references for each of the shoe designs? I tried, and it was kind of fun.

Related: David Bowie, cassette deck memories, and me. | Thinking : Parent


Vans Bowie collaboration includes 3 cool low-tops and one pair of high-tops

Van x Bowie: The inspiration

David Bowie Vans inspired by the Aladdin Sane (Ziggy Stardust) Cover

Let’s start with the easy one; the “Old Skool” Vans, which are probably my favorite. With a pale tan background and those red and turquoise interpretation of lightning bolts, it’s definitely a Ziggy Stardust inspired “look from the ubiquitous imagery of the Aladdin Sane album cover.


David Bowie Vans inspired by Space Oddity

The super funky, polka-dotted “Space” shoes nail Space Oddity to a tee. So okay, maybe that was the easiest — but only if you’re familiar with the actual LP cover art and not just images of Bowie himself. Also, I kind of love them. And any guy who can pull these off is totally someone I’d have crushed on in high school, hard.

Related: The most awesome Vans collaborations of 2018

David Bowie Vans inspired by Hunky Dory and his checkerboard shirt

It admittedly took me a minute of googling album covers to figure out the reference for the black-and-white checkerboard pattern on the Velcro-topped Slip-On, since checkerboard is so much a part of Vans to begin with. Now I’m convinced it’s a reference to his checkered shirt and yellow-tone hair highlights on the Hunky Dory album.

(I was originally thinking maybe the yellow from Suffragette City, but…nope.)


David Bowie Vans collection is coming soon!

As for the black-and-white high-tops, well I’m sure there’s some kind of justification somewhere — I first went to the classic black-and-white Heroes cover — but it mostly seems like a classic Vans checkerboard pattern with a big red Bowie logo over it. And that works just fine.

I just wish they’d do something all rainbow and bold and crazy in reference to the Sorrow album cover, from which the above jumpsuit-ed photo comes from. I’d be all over that.

To get notified about the Vans Bowie sneaker collection which launches April 5, sign up on the website for updates.