Crazy to think that Bianca Chandôn has been around for nearly a decade and is only just now getting its first Vans collaboration. Founded by pro skater Alex Olsen in 2014, Bianca Chandôn is simultaneously everything and nothing, a complex expression of Olsen’s personal identity and an immensely wearable post-skate label.
Unlike Call Me 917, Olsen’s more evocative streetwear brand, Bianca Chandôn is tamer, more restrained. There’s a bit of spiritualism in there and a couple granola-y prints to switch things up from season to season, but Bianca Chandôn focuses primarily on its core graphics.
See, while Call Me 917 has expanded into surfboards, towel collabs, and a complete skate team, Bianca Chandôn is basically doing the same thing now that it did almost 10 years ago, which isn’t a nitpick.
At the core of Bianca Chandôn are two graphic prints: the eponymous branding that’s been repurposed across dozens of tees and the stylized “LOVER” design that’s gone on to become a mini-viral hit in and of itself.
Worn by the likes of Frank Ocean, the “LOVER” graphic is perhaps Bianca Chandôn’s calling card, having secured the brand a permanent spot within influential stores like Dover Street Market.
However, it’d be too obvious to simply print “LOVER” across a couple Vans shoes and call it a day so Olsen instead reinterpreted a contemporary Bianca Chandôn design into its collaborative sneakers.
Releasing August 20 at Vans Vault and Bianca Chandôn retailers and August 23 on Vans’ website, the Bianca Chandôn Vans are replete with a sky’s-worth of stars, printed across cotton canvas uppers of the Sk8-Hi Reissue VLT LX, Authentic VLT LX , Old Skool VLT LX, and Classic Slip-On VLT LX.
It’s kind of a nod to Vans’ inimitable checkerboard pattern but also something more: in a press release, Vans explains that the stars reflect “how we are so familiarized with shape throughout our lives within mainstream media.” Intriguing!
More tangible is the faux pre-distressed finish applied to each pair of Bianca Chandôn Vans, which gives the entire collection a pre-thrashed feel, as if they’ve already been worn within an inch of their life before you even got your hands on ’em.
To reference another pro skateboarder’s sneaker collab, compare the mindset here to Lance Mountain’s Jordans, which are designed to encourage wear by shedding their white uppers over time, revealing hidden color.
It’s a different approach to a similar belief: shoes look better when they’re worn. It’s just that Bianca Chandôn already did the work for you.