Los Angeles-based collective Kids of Immigrants has teamed up with Vans to create what might be the sneaker brand’s most meaningful collaboration yet. Meant to honor immigrants and their sacrifices, an “Anything is Possible” Old Skool skate shoe has been unveiled by the duo, bearing a patchwork upper.
The Anything is Possible sneaker — whose namesake is derived from the Kids of Immigrants’ signature slogan — follows two other footwear collaborations between KOI and Vans. But for Kids of Immigrants, these shoes go beyond product: According to a press release, each sneaker created by the duo hopes to amplify and celebrate marginalized voices, building a community along the way.
A melting pot of materials — Designed with fabrics that celebrate Kids of Immigrants’ upbringing, the Old Skool sneaker features a mosaic of corduroy, shearling, velvet, paisley, and patent leather panels. All dressed in neutral white and beige tones, the textured overlays blend together to create a cohesive look, perhaps nodding to America’s “melting pot” of different nationalities and ethnicities.
Inside the sneaker, checkered insoles take inspiration from Chinese laundry bags, while hits of yellow decorate the treading to represent household lamps. Midsoles are emblazoned with gold “Kids of Immigrants” spell outs and also nod to the apartment to where the group was founded with coordinates.
Honoring the real kids of immigrants — To truly highlight KOI’s “Anything is Possible” message, the Old Skool sneaker’s campaign features spiritual speaker and author Rob Hill, whose positive affirmations can be heard over clips of the patchwork sneaker. Hill also narrates the stories of three tenacious women — Aurora Santos, Jenny Le, and Kika Keith — who are relatives of the Kids of Immigrants’ crew and have their own dedicated work to show off.
Committing to empowering future generations, KOI enlisted mentees from the organizations Color of Compton and Inner City Artist to produce the Anything is Possible campaign. The experience, which offered hands-on learning for set design and photography, allowed mentees “to step into their dreams,” says a press release.
Whether the “Anything is Possible” belief resonates with you or you simply want to support future dreams, the Vans x Kids of Immigrants Old Skool sneaker launches August 18 on Foot Locker’s creative incubator Greenhouse. The patchwork skate shoe will then be available on the Kids of Immigrants website on August 20.