Legendary artist Ralph Steadman and premium goods purveyor Vault by Vans, partner on an imperative mission to raise awareness about animal endangerment and extinction. Steadman, the renowned British illustrator of social caricatures, cartoons and picture books, lends his work to the canvases of Vans’ Sk8-Hi and Classic Slip-On, to showcase his notoriously splattered, hallucinogenic illustrations.
Featuring illustrations from “Gonzovationists” Ralph Steadman and Ceri Levy’s published books, Extinct Boids, Nextinction, and Critical Critters, Vault by Vans presents an artful and expressive way of bringing awareness and attention to threatened species. Writer-filmmaker, Ceri Levy articulates the Gonzovationist approach simply: “We’ve always maintained that you’ve got to make people laugh in order to engage them. If we just tell people, ‘you’re all dreadful bastards, you’ve screwed it all up, and now look what’s going to happen,’ people go, ‘yeah, whatever.’ But if you make them laugh, you’ve got a chance.” Thought up by the duo themselves, “Gonzovationist” defines alternative conservation through the act of gonzovating—the protection, preservation, management, or restoration of wildlife and of natural resources to include forests, earth and water.
As part of the launch of the collection, Vans has partnered with WildAid, an organization that works to reduce global consumption of wildlife products and to increase local support for conservation efforts. In addition to encouraging contributions through a donation-inspired exhibition, Vans will donate $10,000 towards WildAid to provide crucial support to end the illegal wildlife trade in our lifetimes, deliver comprehensive marine protection and reduce our collective environmental impact. “We hope these vivid depictions of the world’s most imperiled species can help inspire the change we need to save them,” said WildAid CEO Peter Knights. To celebrate the Vault by Vans x Ralph Steadman collection, Vans will feature Steadman’s artwork alongside donation installations at the new Vault by Vans Pop-Up store, located on the Lower East Side in New York City.
Coining himself as a “savage satirist”, Ralph Steadman delivers meaningful visual enlightenment and informative illustrations in this Vault by Vans collaboration using a playful approach to a sensitive cause. With his artwork reflected on beloved Vans canvases across footwear, apparel and skate decks, a merging of two explosive identities unite for a significant cause.
With every footwear, apparel and deck iteration standing for something beyond themselves, each version tells a deeper story surrounding an endangered species. The collection consists of eight footwear styles, five apparel pieces and four unique decks. Keeping environmental protection in mind, the products were designed with the most sustainable materials available including organic cotton, FSC certified wood skateboard decks and packaging made from 100% recycled content.