"The good old times - everything was better then...". As much as we all hate this phrase (especially) from older folks, in some cases there is truth to it. One such case we would like to discuss today is footwear.
Let's go over the top a bit by phrasing a very drastic misson statement here: "if it's good - change it!". Or, better: "if it's good and sells well - make more profit by cutting down on production costs by shifting it to a cheaper site!". Oh "and forget about the details of the original product - costs too much...!".
Ok, we are not naive, sure, if you're a company you need to act profit-oriented. However, if you have been manufacturing something which consumers love (and buy) because of its quality and design, shouldn't your goal be to maintain these characteristics when trying to rationalise production? Because otherwise, consumers might no longer be interested in that item...
If you are interested to see what Vans were like some 15 years back and would like to compare - check Footpatrol today (2/2/05). They have a find to share with us...
Interview: Andrew Bunney & Yuri Rabinowitz / Gimme 5
Could you briefly tell us how these were spotted/where?
The stock was a two hour drive into deep countryside (not UK). The smell of wine was in the air.
How did the people you got these from react to your inquriy to buy them?
Initially, they couldn't believe their luck but they soon became wary when they began to understand how many we were interested in.
Why do you think these did not sell back when they came out?
It could be many reasons - the distributor, the time they came out, the places they sold to, trends in skateboarding...
What are the major differences between these vintage Vans and new ones?
Sole, construction, style details, colours and heritage. It's surprising with re-issues how companies get it wrong... (count the eyelets).
Many companies not only shift their production to countries where costs are much lower, they also cut down on the quality of their products. Does the consumer no longer care?
I suppose this links to the question of why they didn't sell in the first place - new wave of customers perhaps.
Maybe the customer base expands, they lose the core customer and a mass one comes in. Perhaps the mass customer doesn't care about the quality.
Where and when were these Vans produced?
The last wave of MADE IN USA Chukkas. It's hard to say. We would think
What other vintage sneakers (except for adidas, Nike, etc.) would you love to find?
This is not the only style we have found...
What was your first pair of sneakers/skateboard shoes? Do you still have it? If no - what happened with it?
It's different for all of us. But all our shoes were worn, and all our shoes needed to be thrown or given away.
Often, vintage sneakers - if worn - tend to break easily, as the rubber and glues have dried out/hardened over the years; do we have to fear that with these, too?
It's a gum rubber sole, with a a different technique to the sneakers now. as these were handmade, they used a very organic technique.
The first wave of vintage Vans - the Chukka Boots - will be released at Footpatrol on February 2nd.
JH, January 2005
Beinghunted thanks for the interview and images. We're looking forward to seeing what else they found!
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