Tattoo legend BJ Betts, nearly needs no introduction. Blending gothic imagery, Japanese folklore, with his unique lettering – his iconic style speaks for itself. Naturally, he’s the perfect candidate to be a much-coveted Vans collaborator, as the brand continue to combine contemporary artists with their classic styles.
It’s a collab that makes even more sense, given Betts’ longtime Vans appreciation. “I have a deep love for Vans and I’ve been wearing them my whole life,” he says. “I bought my first pair of Authentics back in 1988, and I actually still have them. They’re not even that ripped up, they’re just old, man. They’re still wearable. They look like what they are—a 32-year-old pair of Vans.”
Reimagining a trio of OGs – the Old Skool, Authentic and Slip-On – Betts brings original camouflage patterns in muted military-inspired colors, which is a homage to his time personally spent in the US military.
‘’I wanted to make something functional,” he says. “Being an artist and working long hours, more times than not I end up going out and having dinner later in the evening and going to meet up with my family and friends directly from work.”
“I wanted to have a collection that could be worn easily and comfortably while working, with the stain resistant qualities that allow me to head out for a nice dinner looking presentable with a simple wipe down of my shoes. The shoes are generally the first thing that is noticed, am I wrong?”
Check out the kicks below and heard here to shop them: