Vans worked with Southern California-transplant designer Rhuigi Villaseñor and his brand, Rhude, for a simple remix on the Vans Bold NI, a model that has enjoyed a revitalization in 2019. Villaseñor immigrated to Los Angeles via the Philippines, and is influenced by his immersion into the branded, materialistic world of LA from his humble beginnings in the Philippines.
The Vans Bold NI upper is basically untouched with this RHUDE collaboration. Rhuigi Villaseñor went with deep, rich suedes that evoke connections to classic car paint jobs. The midsole features the brand name, “RHUDE”, in a license plate-graphic print. With each license plate’s coloring matching the associated upper. A classic checkerboard insole rests on an UltraCush Lite footbed to finish off the design.
Rhuigi Villaseñor’s unique upbringing as an artist- moving from the Philippines to Los Angeles, California- can be seen in much of his work, as well as this collaborative project with vans. Villaseñor had no formal training in fashion design when he arrived in the US, but now mixes American iconography with nostalgic references to create footwear and clothing collections. The classic car-motif with this project shows that overarching theme of his work.