Vans are collaborating with four Black artists to celebrate Black History Month

The new Vans collection features all your favorite styles

 Catalina wears Vans trainers in street style photo in Madrid
(Image credit: Pablo Cuadra/Stringer/Getty)

We've been spoilt by the number of fashion collaborations recently, from Uniqlo dropping an artful new collection with the Louvre, to Adidas stepping up their Valentine's game. Now comes another inspiring creative partnership: Vans has teamed up with four emerging artists for a special capsule collection to celebrate Black History Month 2021.

The four artists have designed custom, limited-edition prints that will appear on a range of iconic styles from the athletic sneaker and apparel company, including slip-ons, Authentics, backpacks and more.

Vans said of the collab: “Black voices, artists, thinkers, and trailblazers shape every generation. This Black History Month we celebrate Black artists who are pushing the culture forward today through their voices and creativity, paving the way for generations to follow.”

The four artists that Vans are partnering with are Rewina Beshue, Christopher Martin, Sydney G James and Tony Whlgn. They have all come up with their own designs to highlight and celebrate Black culture in their own styles and mediums.

Rewina Beshue is a contemporary multimedia artist from San Francisco works in print-making, painting and graphic design. Her design for Vans is an experiment with optical illusions in black and white. She is currently featured on their website, as will other artists throughout the month.

Beshue said in an interview with Vans: “My voice is more loud than ever. More eyes can see me and what I am doing so I will use this time to capture attention and direct it towards major issues. I want to utilize my art to inform and inspire deeper thinking.”

Christopher Martin is a multidisciplinary artist based in Oakland, whose work explores the African diaspora. His sneaker design features a blackbird flying with a red rose in its beak.

Sydney G. James is a painter in Detroit, who creates large-scale murals. She explores “themes of the racial and gender positioning of the Black woman in America.” Her shoe design shows a black woman looking through a green divide with a pattern of the African continent on it. 

Tony Whlgn is another Detroit-based artist, whose work is based on art as ”an imitation of his life and those he’s encountered.” His design shows an African mask surrounded by leaves, on a black background. 

Alongside the Black History Month collaboration, Vans has also promised to donate $40,000 to the Black Arts Future Funding organization, which provides grants to community-based Black arts and culture organization

Naomi Jamieson
Lifestyle News Writer

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Women's Lifestyle team, where she covers everything from entertainment to fashion and beauty, as well as TikTok trends for Woman&Home, after previously writing for My Imperfect Life and GoodTo. Interestingly though, Naomi actually has a background in design, having studied illustration at Plymouth University but lept into the media world in 2020, after always having a passion for writing and earned her Gold Standard diploma in Journalism with the NCTJ.

Before working for Future Publishing’s Lifestyle News team, she worked in the Ad production team. Here she wrote and designed adverts on all sorts of things, which then went into print magazines across all genres. Now, when she isn’t writing articles on celebs, fashion trends, or the newest shows on Netflix, you can find her drinking copious cups of coffee, drawing and probably online shopping.