Lupe Fiasco x Vans OTW Stovepipe


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 rest of the shoe is left utterly black to serve as a dual statement about my own personal genetic blackness and the cultural blackness that my genetic predisposition informs i.e. socially, politically, gastronomically, preferentially etc. The second part of the duality is to suggest a lack of vibrancy in the cultural products of today as a whole and that what brings vibrancy of the spirit and literally cuts through, or more fittingly communicates through, the mundane darkness of modern culture is the introduction of nativity to modernity.


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

42 comments:

  1. Okay, so I really like these

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  2. Yeah these are dope, Ima get me a pair. Two thumbs up.

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  3. I love that the bottom of the shoes is the color of yellow. Yellow is the color of hope. Tread upon hope! I really enjoyed reading of the reasoning behind the design of the shoes. And visually I love them!

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  4. YES my girl is gonna love these. Hopefully they make em in her size. She's gon love the black and yellow.

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  5. Wow that was so in depth. The shoes are fresh but I mean the meaning behind them adds so much more. I'm the type of person who would buy an all black shirt with a random red dot on it if comes from a deeper thought process lol so the fact that it's style and substance is dope

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  6. Is it the same meaning as making the album all black? In that case I already know it

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  7. Oh wow didnt even see that...cool thx

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  8. I cant find these shoes anywhere online and I don't have a Vans retailers where I live. HELP!

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    1. Tactics.com.. I dont think you tried very hard lol

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  9. That's a Saddle Bag Native American Pattern found on many of our blankets for horses also used for bedding Pendleton carries this design we also make coat linings from the same pattern as well as duffle bags etc.

    ChahtaMs

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  10. Wonderful beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your website, how could i subscribe for a blog site?
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    My page: captain black

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  11. Nice work. The orgin and thought put into the design is very admirable. The Chatham islands appear to be very beautiful as well.

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  12. I'm about to explode with the sheer volume of commentary I have regarding this. He's saying a lot here. The shoe is no doubt asthetically appealing but parts of the concept conflict with with my politics. Don't get me wrong, the existential break down of the title "native tongues" as a reflection of the intrinsically spritual and extrinsically expressed domains of the human experience is an intriging and intellectually orgasmic insight (as is some of his other insights here), thats not my issue. Where I get weary and start to shake my head is his appropriation of native american culture and his sloppy attempt at cultural hybridity across all indigenous cultures.

    People have a tendancy to exotify the 'other'.. a part of exotifying the other is to assume and speak for people outside our own cultural identity. Some people do this to gain a sense of cultural captial (or to be "cultured" ... I fucking hate that term) and some (like Lupe) do this to understand the so called other and connect human experiences through this understanding.

    The only problem with this particular way in which Lupe has attempted to 'connect the cultural dots' so to speak is that he has assumed cultural authority to speak on behalf of a particular culture (native american) that he does not belong to. We cannot assume cultural authority from the outside looking in, without living being, and existing within the culture or having an ancestral bond to it. Lupe does this (culturally appropriates from the outside looking in) by assuming and taking ownership of native american symbolism by "making it his own". he does this by trying to 'connect the dots' and draw parallels with his own ancestry. In doing this he minimizes and homogenizes both cultural meanings. He deprives them of their distinctiveness, he sells them in "foreign tongues"..

    which bring me to my next point: This is exactly what the fashion industry tries to do with Navajo indigenous prints. Cultural appropriation by industry results in misappropriation and commercializing reducing a beautiful language of lived experience into a consumer experience. Unfortunately, this shoe is no exception

    .. thoughts?

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    1. Yeaaaah I understand you completely and kind of feel the same way bro it's a box that's sort of set an a person who not about that life can't really speak on it unless someone gives the ok. I see where you're coming from on that one but who knows Lup personally could have ties with the native tribes here an around where he grew up we will never know but that is kind of poorly executed an a tired cookie cutter fashion that everyone is running into the ground to seem more cultured lol dope kicks tho fuckin fresh but yeah the meaning creates a stretch and is kind of half stepping! I know the sensibilities I'm part Seminole! #NativePride #Endure

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  13. Um ok...well I just like the shoe
    ..thoughts?

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  14. Basically its a good looking shoe using patterns created by Native Americans that we've all seen before. Yada yada yada.......... NEXT.

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  15. The meaning behind what lupe is saying is nice, but, it is true, the more people outside the culture try to express the culture the mixed it becomes and the identity of the culture becomes less authentic and not in its true form. But then again what lupe is doing is trying to expess the culture to bring awareness to a culture most ppl don't know about or think about. Like how many ppl in China know about Native American culture, or how many ppl in Mexico know about African Culture and he is not a scholar his not teaching a lesson in cultural studies, his a rapper that has the ability to bring awareness, and that's what his doing. Maybe it isn't correct but its awareness for one to seek knowledge and enlighten themselves to the true history of what is correct. Cuz honestly if we don't continue to use these type of methods to make awareness then the culture might die.... anyways idk how much of what I'm saying y'all get... but meaning or not, lupe or not, if them kicks look good on my feet ill buy them.

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  16. The meaning behind what lupe is saying is nice, but, it is true, the more people outside the culture try to express the culture the mixed it becomes and the identity of the culture becomes less authentic and not in its true form. But then again what lupe is doing is trying to expess the culture to bring awareness to a culture most ppl don't know about or think about. Like how many ppl in China know about Native American culture, or how many ppl in Mexico know about African Culture and he is not a scholar his not teaching a lesson in cultural studies, his a rapper that has the ability to bring awareness, and that's what his doing. Maybe it isn't correct but its awareness for one to seek knowledge and enlighten themselves to the true history of what is correct. Cuz honestly if we don't continue to use these type of methods to make awareness then the culture might die.... anyways idk how much of what I'm saying y'all get... but meaning or not, lupe or not, if them kicks look good on my feet ill buy them.

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  17. Ok so I'm gonna put off coppin the red bottoms for these jawns!!!

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  18. ^not sure if your response was directed at me or the anon 3 comments below mine but i agree with you.. and thats what I was trying to say.

    "poorly executed an a tired cookie cutter fashion that everyone is running into the ground to seem more cultured " .. exactly.

    Thats my problem with cultural appropriation in fashion; Regardless of the intent, the product becomes exploitative.

    Many cultural prints carry profound historical relevance. Many of them represent resistance. Cultural appropriation dilutes these messages and in the process exploits a people, robbing them of their right to speak for themselves.

    Its important to be careful about how we introduce these representations of the cultures of others to the mainstream, esp. since the mainstream already holds many prejudices and misconceptions and just straight apathy to the struggles of others.

    For Lupe to use his voice in this way, there should have been consent. Or better yet, collaboration with people who can give that consent with portions of the proceeds going to back to their communities.

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  19. this is to the anon who said "how many ppl in Mexico know about African Culture"..

    Actually, there are many Africans in Mexico and most Mexicans are mixed with indigenous, Spanish and African (most west African) heritage due to the African slave trade use by Spainish conquistadors in Mexico.

    Check out this documentary about Black people in Latin America (it focuses on Mexico and Peru) if interested

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIzHIRCBtdE

    Its really interesting and also talks about racial inequities in Mexico and Peru

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  20. Wow, thanks for the link! The fact that majority of Mexico's people are actually African is mind boggling. o_O Them being racist towards each other has engulfed them as a people, though.. sorta like they stalled out and aren't able to grow and expand their heritage without the help of others (America). But the same thing happens in the U.S. when it comes to racism within one race; African Americans are discriminate towards each other depending on how light or dark their skin is. Its so sad.. especially when darker tone A.A.'s act like slaves and suffer from a "slave mentality". And those same people function everyday as if there's no hope.. without even realizing it. :(

    Mexico and Peru are beautiful countries, though. In the past when I thought about Mexico I thought about deserts, cactus, and the drug cartel........ That's why I dislike television. So many people are clueless about reality its ridiculous, and now the media's "reality" is increasingly becoming REALITY by the millisecond . The glorification of sex, drugs, and alcohol is beyond me; I don't understand it. Ughhhhhhh... somebody should take over the airwaves one day and say, "TURN OFF YOUR FUCKING TELEVISIONS! NONE OF WHAT YOU'RE WATCHING IS REAL! THIS IS NOT LIFE! QUIT YOUR JOBS, GO ON A ROAD TRIP AND NEVER LOOK BACK! YOU WONT REGRET IT, I PROMISE!!!" O_O

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  21. We don't know that there wasn't any consent or even if the idea was sparked by a native friend, and as far as the running into the ground to seem more cultured the last time I checked Lupes always been one to exercise the importance of culture so to me this is just another attempt at that. The fact that he steps out side of his culture isn't really a bad thing. And african culture is much closer to native american culture than say.. white people? Who would probably call it Indian instead of Native American even though the two represent completely different people. I don't see why all the criticism. I for one appreciate the effort as I'm sure many natives do as well

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  22. This entire argument is common sense. But what difference does it make if all we're gonna do is debate the issues online?

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  23. "I don't see why all the criticism. I for one appreciate the effort as I'm sure many natives do as well"

    .. didn't think it was a bad thing to be critical and I definately have nothing against Lu for making a show. I appreciate that he was trying to put out something positive.. I just think its important to be critical of all culturally appropriated products made for commercial gain.

    Just adding some food for thought and trying to perhaps spark a discourse. I didn't think Lupe fans of all people would be irritated by that or opposed to it. Oh well, its all love.

    peace.

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  24. "We don't know that there wasn't any consent or even if the idea was sparked by a native friend"

    I'm sure if there was consent or collaboration it would have been mentioned.. and if it happened and was not mentioned, it should have been.

    ...but im sure Vans is very concerned about social responsibility and respect for heritage as most corporations are.

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    1. Well go criticize someone who deserves it because I'm pretty sure lupe did his research on the print and had everything taken care of before he put it on his shoe. Tootles

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  25. Lupe is so considerate he didn't have to do this. Thank you Lupe for the info you are appreciated.

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  26. I found them on eBay, they still have some left.

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Thanks for the comment - have a nice day !