Lupe's version of the Vans OTW Stovepipe is here! He choose to give the shoe premium full grain black leather in combination with a native print on the inner sole and the tongue. The result is a very good looking sneaker which is now available at select OTW retailers.
Check out Lupe's design notes and a few pics below!
“The shoe is titled „Native Tongues,” it references immediately a „90s hip-hop aesthetic by appropriating the name of the retro-afro, conscious music collective and emulating some style cues they exhibited specifically in the use of traditional African patterns and color schemes in their mode of dress. The pattern used is a blend of an African and a Native/Central American aesthetic pulling inspiration from both what could be and what normally is described as „native‟ cultures.
The „tongue‟ and the inner sole of the shoe are the only places where the pattern is applied. This is to make a statement about communication; the tongue being the premiere source of human communication and the sole or „soul‟ being the source of the information that is to be communicated. It creates visually and structurally a sort of pure bridge or connection between what is possessed on the inside and what is expressed to the outside. The reality that we all possess a certain „indigenousness,‟ a direct connection to a far removed ancestry and genetic pool that still influences us and itself in constantly being influenced by us, the so-called „distant relatives‟ in every moment we exist in. We automatically communicate this native cultural DNA via our habits, traditions and artistic expressions. Even more profoundly in our genetic makeup and anatomical and biological expressions.
The verbose colors and voluminous patterns found consistently in the „ancient‟ and primitive cultures of the old world of which we all are the children of; the unapologetic festival of sounds and sights that we immediately date and reference back to bygone eras when life and the meanings of life were „simpler‟. This shoe in title and structure, aesthetic and concept, is an existential testament to the combination of past and present, subtle and overt. A marriage of the modern and the ancient but also suggesting that the labels „modern‟ and „ancient‟ themselves are obsolete in the face of the present and the future and that we look to the past through the lens of modernity which transforms the past into something more relative and substantial than just a series of events that happened way „back in the day‟.” – Lupe Fiasco