Pride2022

Together as Ourselves

Together as Ourselves.

Together
as Ourselves

In celebration of PRIDE,we empowered three artists to create a collection of footwear and apparel that showcases their individuality.

Meet the Artists

Meet the Artists

Meet the Artists

Artist Ashley Lukashevsky.

01

@ashluka

Shorts with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky.
Shorts and shoes with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky
Shorts with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky
Shirts and shoes with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky.
Shoes with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky

Artist Kaitlin Chan.

02

@kaitlinmchan

Model wearing shoes and jacket with custom art by Kaitlin Chan.
Close up of shirt decal with custom art by Kaitlin Chan.
Vans Authentic shoes with custom art by Kaitlin Chan.
Hat with custom art by Kaitlin Chan.

Artist Sara Lorusso.

03

@loruponyo

Shirt and sweater with custom art by Sara Lorusso.
Shoes with custom art by Sara Lorusso.
Bag with custom art by Sara Lorusso.

Shop the Collection

PRIDE 2022

Shop the Collection

PRIDE 2022

Vans Pride OTW Gallery Classic Slip-on with custom art by Sara Lorusso.Vans Pride OTW Gallery Authentics with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky.Pride OTW Gallery T-Shirt with custom art from Ashley Lukashevsky.Vans Pride OTW Gallery Pullover Hoodie with custom art by Ashley Lukashevsky.Vans Pride Jockey HatPride OTW Gallery T-Shirt with custom art by Kaitlin Chan.Vans Pride OTW Gallery Long Sleeve T-Shirt with custom art by Sara Lorusso.Vans Pride OTW Gallery Authentics with custom art by Kaitlin Chan.Vans Pride OTW Gallery T-Shirt with custom art by Sara Lorusso.

In celebration of Pride, Vans is donating a total of $200,000 from the Checkerboard Fund at Tides Foundation to three organizations committed to advocating for and providing the space, access and community needed to uplift the voices of the LGBTQ+ community.


AshleyLukashevsky

Profile shot of the artist Ashley Lukashevsky

How has your art/creative practice evolved over time?

My arts practice is constantly evolving. I've found myself leaning towards and craving more tactile mediums. I started out as a digital artist, but I find myself wanting to move past the screen— through murals, through painting, through paper and colored pencils, through textiles. That makes this project really exciting. To be able to play with embroidery on canvas and fabric feels really satisfying.

What does community mean to you?

Community is everything. For so much of my adolescence and young adulthood, I didn't have connection to QTBIPOC community because I hadn't even realized this huge part of my identity. Finding my community has been everything to me. To feel seen and held and celebrated, and to do that for my friends and family is vital.

How has Vans played a part of your personal style?

I feel like lately I've been exploring more gender play in the ways that I present, and for me that sometimes looks like shoes that were designed for little boys.

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When did you discover Art could be a fulltime endeavor?

I started out doing illustration as a side gig from my full-time design job, and it was really just a dream at first to turn it into my full time career. I saved up as much money as I could to take time to be a fully self employed illustrator— that year I made barely any money and almost gave in to get another corporate job. I had one big break, my friend Cleo from Amplifier hired me for a job that let me pay my rent for maybe 2 or 3 months and I was able to keep dreaming. After many months of that, my career started to solidify and I found that I fully rely on this as my sole income.

When did you discover your voice as an artist/when did you come onto your own creatively?

It was really around 2016 when I found the courage to speak loudly through my art. So much has changed since then, but the political atmosphere (hellish) at the time that was probably the spark. I'm still coming into my own. Like everyone else, I have my creative challenges, my insecurities, my hopes. I want to grow as an artist, and I hope that this is just the beginning.

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KaitlinChan

Profile shot of the artist Kaitlin Chan

How has your art/creative practice evolved over time?

I used to feel more embarrassed about not being as skilled or proficient as I want to be, but now I embrace that my creative practice is an ever-evolving process. I am also trying to recapture the feeling of drawing as a child when time felt more endless and less partitioned, and drawing felt more like world-building than work.

What does community mean to you?

Community means keeping an open heart and mind as I engage with people who have both similar and different struggles and experiences to me. Community also feels like a loose constellation of people who may be on unique paths, but hold shared dreams and plans for a more equitable, less exploitative, future.

How has Vans played a part of your personal style?

I got very into pop-punk music in the mid-2000s when I was in middle school, and this led me to watch recordings of the Vans Warped Tour (featuring My Chemical Romance, Taking Back Sunday, Green Day etc.). I've never been great at skateboarding, but I like that wearing comfy Vans makes me feel like the day can take me anywhere: to a concert, to the post office, to dim sum with my family. I fancied myself as a scene or emo kid for a period of time, and the classic checkered Vans also went well with my homemade band tees and studded belts. Oh, the 2000s...

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When did you discover Art could be a fulltime endeavor?

For full transparency, I have worked in art gallery administration alongside my illustration/cartooning practice for four years. In terms of professionalizing my drawing practice, it was when I first started to understand my illustrations in relationship to other people's work, and as part of a larger whole. When the writer Alexander Chee commissioned me to draw something inspired by his non-fiction book of essays How to Write an Autobiographical Novel, it was my first post-college foray into taking my drawings more seriously and wanting to collaborate with others.

When did you discover your voice as an artist/when did you come onto your own creatively?

Perhaps rather than one big moment, my journey as an artist has been a string of tiny realizations and changes, from making my first risograph zine with Beatrix Pang of Small Tune Press, to drafting my first ten-page comic about the late queer photographer Ren Hang in a college class. I would not be where I am today without the many artists, publishers, and writers who have taken chances on me and shown me the ropes. I am still learning a lot and I feel that my progress today comes from all the help I got from others.

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SaraLorusso

Profile shot of the artist Sara Lorusso

How has your art/creative practice evolved over time?

My creative practice evolved with me, it changed while discovering myself. I have been my first subject, taking photographs was a necessity for me, I needed to get to know myself and nothing never gave me the opportunity to do so, not until I had started taking self-portraits. As if I would take pictures to see myself from the outside, to recognize and accept myself. So first my subject was me, then my friends and then strangers. When I realized who I was I started shooting others; this has been the tool which allowed me to create a community, a safe place and a way to meet great people. This is why I say that my art evolves with me.

What does community mean to you?

The community allowed me to rediscover myself, or better to discover the real me whom society's standards buried inside my body. I started asking myself some questions: "If I wasn't who I always thought I was" . It allowed me not to give up, to have both a moral and a psychological support. I met many people over the years and I have to thank many of them if I am here today.

How has Vans played a part of your personal style?

I still remember my first pair of Authentic blue vans, I had just entered the teenage phase and I used to wear those shoes almost every day, I remember my mom who didn't want me to wear them in winter because they were too thin, but I even used to wear them going out in the snow. I have so many good memories of my days with those shoes, I felt extremely cool as I walked around the corridors of my school.

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When did you discover Art could be a fulltime endeavor?

I am finding that out now, in the last few years. Often this work is seen only as a hobby, favors are made in exchange for other favors and it never gets the right value. Art work deserves to get payed exactly as any other job. I have been told too often "I have no budget" that at one point I started to think that I should have done something else, even though I was very young I wanted to be independent, have my own home, my own space, but as my living depended on art I was never allowed to. I have always been a stubborn person and I fought to make sure that could result in my job, in fact there is no greater satisfaction than being able to reconcile work with your passion. It has become my full time job since a couple of years and for me it is already a victory.

When did you discover your voice as an artist/when did you come onto your own creatively?

I was born in a small town around Bologna's countryside (Italy), I spent my days in my family's vegetable garden together with my grandmothers. I watched them work the land, I helped them, I picked the fruit directly from the tree and it usually was more those I ate than those I picked. One day I took this video camera which belonged to my grandparents with me and I started to shoot everything. I filmed my grandmothers sowing the fields, the wild animals of the area and then I placed the camera on some stone and turned it towards me. In this way, I made very long films that I later watched at home on television. I believe that my passion for observing, for recording, for stopping time was born here. It was my way of reminding myself that something had happened that day and I had recorded it. Photography reminds me of an emotion which I'm able to stop forever with one click. Afterwards it was all natural, I liked posed pictures and colors, I wanted to tell about my sexuality and that of others, I wanted to talk about being a woman and about all minorities and so I tried to do.

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