How Vans Brought Back a 1966 OG Classic

This modern collection has a little bit of old school in it

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They say fashion always makes its way back around. We’ve seen time and time again over the decades, and it never fails to amaze us how certain styles and trends can come back and fit right into the current generation of fashion. A recent example of this would be the release of the Vans  OG Plaid Authentic Trend Pack, whose plaid colorways are inspired by the brand’s Southern California roots and the retro plaid prints that were popular in the 1990s.

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The OG Authentic Trend Pack pulls from the designs popularized by the Vans Style 44, which made its debut in 1966. It’s incredible to think that a brand new shoe released in 2022 could have elements from one released almost sixty years ago, but here we are. In addition to the drop being super cool and colorful, there’s also a ton of history behind it. 

ONE37pm recently spoke with Vans Product Archivist and Historian Catherine Acosta about the collection in an interview that you can check out below.

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ONE37pm: This is an exciting launch! The inspiration behind these designs borrow from the original Authentic silhouette, born in 1966 as Vans Style 44 correct?

Acosta: Yes, Style 44 was the Authentic’s original name and it also was historically referred to as the “Vans deck shoe.” It was one of the first silhouettes Vans designed and manufactured in 1966.

The overall design has changed little over the years and today’s Anaheim Factory Authentic 44 DX borrows various details from the Authentic’s overall design history but looks specifically to archival models of the Authentic that date back to the ‘80s and ‘90s. These plaid prints are based on ones that Vans issued in the ‘90s and reflect larger fashion trends and influences such as grunge and other types of retro fashions that were popular at that time.

ONE37pm: What are some of the similarities and differences between this iteration and the 1966 one?

Acosta: The differences are in the materials and construction of the shoes. It's just not possible to get the exact same materials once used to make the shoes as the suppliers who once supplied the rubber, canvas, and other materials for the shoes have changed several times since the 1960s—not to mention changes likely in the production of those raw materials themselves. Today, we focus on rubbers that are more durable than their historic counterparts as the technology has been modernized. The current Authentic 44 DX Ortholite insoles use recycled rubber and are designed with comfort in mind.

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A similarity between today’s Authentic 44 DX model is that the canvas is as close to spec as possible to historic examples of the original Authentic silhouette canvas. We’ve analyzed the weave of historic canvas samples and have recreated it for the Authentic 44 DX to the best of our ability.

Most notably, the design language of the Authentic 44 DX is replicated after historic models of the Authentic, which is why the Authentic 44 DX has higher foxing tape, which creates that higher profile associated with historic models. Lastly, the overall silhouette of the Authentic 44 DX is closer to the shape of historic Authentic models.

ONE37pm: Just in time for the summer! Obviously, we know you have more releases planned for the summer season. When can we expect the next release?

Acosta: This archival-inspired Authentic 44 DX plaid pack is a great nod to ‘90s fashion and style that’s authentic to Vans’ history. You can expect to see additional product drops that will speak to Vans’ unique heritage as the brand continues to release new products throughout the summer. 

The Authentic 44 DX OG Plaid Pack is available to shop at Vans retail locations and at beginning this June.

Make sure you shop the new collection!

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