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Off-beat, out of the box, trouble-maker, rabble-rouser. There are a lot of things that describe rebellion, and yet, you only really know it when you see it. This season, we’re celebrating the rebellious girls and women who make disobedience look so, so good. We took over the New York subways for our main collection story—following photographer Clara Balzary wherever her whims took her. We talked to Teen Witch photographer and zine-maker Andrea Sonnenberg about her late night antics and stream of consciousness illustrator Shantell Martin for two very different perspectives on creativity. Because here’s the thought: Even though it’s fall, and we’re all going back to school, work, wherever, you might as well bring a few of those misadventures with you.
Notes from the Underground
Our Fall Picks
Standard Goods
Vans x Star Wars
Let Me See You 1-2 Step
Miette Hope
Rebel Yell!
Surfing Safari
Andrea Sonnenberg
We Got The Beat
Stand clear of the closing doors! Our band of wild ones are exploring the city and having a blast in our fall collection while they’re at it. Photographer Clara Balzary led the nonstop traipse—and caught it all on camera, too.
Photography by CLARA BALZARY
Styling — Zarina Humayun / Hair & Make up — CHEYENNE TIMPERIO
Models — Oxana Zubko & Liza Golden
Shot on location in NEW YORK CITY
products 10
After sketches, line sheets, spreadsheets and long hours, our Fall Women’s collection is finally here. And after staring at this stuff for months, you could say our team has picked its favorites. Here—our top picks from behind the checkerboard curtain.
The open mesh sweater is perfect over leggings. I’m especially vibing on clashing prints and love how the Nordic backpack pairs back to the tartan plaid pant. Nadia Barienbrock, Head Women’s Apparel Designer
My picks for Fall were definitely influenced by Lydia from Beetlejuice! I love to curate things with a bit of nostalgic vibes. I’m currently into layering the base with contrast colors like black and white and topping it off with a pop of color from my accessories.
Angie Dam, Women’s Classics Footwear Designer
This lightweight jacket is perfect for the day-to-day and also dresses up nicely for a night out. I love moccasins – these in particular caught my eye because of the mix of materials and bold print.
Mira Bourdon, Women’s Surf Footwear Category Manager
This lightweight cheetah print pullover is a great, versatile piece — ideal for layering in cooler weather. The perforated leather is a fun update to my everyday black Slip-Ons and can be worn with almost any outfit.
Rachelle Shapiro, Classics Coordinator
I’m all about mixing contrasting patterns and textures. You have to make it look like a decision; not a mistake.
Nikki Scoggins, Senior Manager, DTC
This bucket bag is the perfect accessory for Fall, especially in this rich cordovan color. Pair it with the Floral Sk8-Hi Slims and you’re good to go!. Hether Cook, Women’s Accessories Designer
Stray from your back-to-wherever supply list and grab the gear you really need: Vans’s classic sneakers and backpacks in new florals, graphic prints—and even a nebula or two. You can always borrow a pen if you need it.
Photography by DEAN YOSHIHARA
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, 1977 Harrison Ford was a total fox, Carrie Fisher started a hair bun revolution and a generation of superfans were born. Now, Vans is partnering with Star Wars for a collection of goods so out there—well, you might just fly right out of orbit.
Watch as a Rookie Wookie takes on a Vans skate contest in our Star Wars Commercial. Guest appearances include skate legends Christian Hosoi, Steve Caballero and of course, Chewy.
We love fall dressing because let’s just say there’s more than meets the eye. Pile it on and bundle it up—we’ve got layer after layer of style to keep you warm while looking cool.
Photography by AIMERITO STUDIO
Hair & Make Up by Jen Budner
Model — Rachel Russell
Meet Miette Hope Goldman. She’s a 17-year-old folk singer-songwriter from Colorado Springs and an incoming freshman at Berklee College of Music in Boston. And we’re stoked that she’s our first-ever Vans Berklee College of Music Off The Wall Scholarship recipient. Before she takes this first big step to her new career, we caught her on the phone to talk strange coincidences, the power of music and sick jokes.

Photography by Nathanael TURNER

When did you first become interested in music? And when did you start to get more serious about it?
I’ve been a lover of music for as long as I can remember, always singing and banging on something. I wrote my first song when I was about ten, and I started to think I could really make it be something in my life.

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
My family is really musical—my mom has been in various bands since I was really young and always been a strong writer. I love music where people express themselves and it’s more raw, not auto-tuned or too electronic. I’ve always loved The Beatles, of course. I’ve always loved jazz, like Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan.

At Berklee, you’re planning to study music therapy. What is music therapy and why did you choose it?
It’s still a developing field, but it’s essentially using music as an alternative therapy to prescription medication for things like anxiety, depression, Asperger’s. I’ve seen music affect me in my own way. Writing music helps me to clarify what I should do about a certain situation, or what do I really need and how do I really feel. I think that’s really powerful and amazing.

Which do you prefer - writing or performing?
I think that both of writing and performing are part of the same process. My dad passed away in early August and I had had a really terrible songwriting blockage after a really terrible visit—the last time I would see him. Finally, I finished writing this song about him, which was a huge process. I went to my mom’s room to tell her I finished the song and she told me that he had passed away. It was such a crazy coincidence. I had a show three weeks later and decided not to play the song because it expressed a lot of resentment, but I ended up playing it and later at home I dreamt about him for the first time since he had passed away. Performing helped me let go of those feelings.

That’s right! So, what was your reaction when you heard that news about your Vans scholarship?
The scholarship director at Berklee said, “Can I give you a call today?” I thought, Well, he probably wouldn’t call me if I didn’t get it, but when he told me, I asked him if he was joking! That would be a really terrible, sick joke. I couldn’t really believe that it was happening. There’s definitely a part of me that’s nervous [to start college], but getting the scholarship I feel like I really belong.

Learn more about the Vans Berklee College of Music Off the Wall Scholarship at berklee.edu/scholarships/vans

Meet Shantell, Mish, Amirah and Lizzie, four girls that are out to make records and break ‘em. Whether it’s with a black felt marker or out-of-this-world cake (no, seriously), this foursome is on the rise. Get out of their way—or they’ll get in yours.
Shantell Martin
Hometown: London, UK Day Job: Creator, Maker, Connector, Drawer, Artist
You describe your process as following or trusting the pen. What do you think about when it feels like the pen is taking over?
It’s all about balance… The pen is essentially the boss, and I’m very happy to ‘Follow The Pen’ wherever it may wish to take me.

What happens if you/the pen run out of ink?
If energy or ink is runs out I keep a reserve on hand and extra pens in my pocket.

What, if any, is your favorite color and why?
Going to say Black and White. I know, I know, these are not exactly colors in the traditional sense, but I do love how working with black and white really opens up a drawing up to discoveries. Colors are sometimes easy and will your brain will tell you where to look (reds, yellows, etc.); with black and white, people are drawn into the work in very different points and places.

What is rebellion to you? Do you consider yourself to be rebellious? I’ve always enjoyed coloring and writing outside the lines. I guess I’m also being ME as much as I can be in this lifetime vs. trying to fit in and be like everyone else. That could be my own private rebellion.


Hometown: Vancouver, BC DAY JOB: MUSICIAN/WRITER
You and your bandmates self-manage White Lung. What’s it like to run the business end of a band?
We cut our teeth in a scene where you just did it all yourself, because no one else really cared about your band—at least no one with money. There just wasn’t any other way to do things but on our own. We had to adjust to having a team. We had to find people who respected us enough to understand we have done things our way for a long time and aren’t going to compromise past relationships for money.

What’s your approach to stage dressing?
I’m not big on clothes. I wear tons of jewelry and that’s what makes me feel like I’m semi-dressed up. I always do red lips and dark eyes or else I feel naked. Also I have to wear big ass chunky heels on stage or I feel short and frumpy. Stage is about performance and costume. Style is just confidence. I never wear anything I feel uncomfortable in for the sake of fashion.

You get interviewed a lot AND you conduct lots of interviews. What’s a question you get asked that makes you shake your head?
The only thing that makes me shake my head is when it’s clear the writer hasn’t done any research prior. It’s so easy now and there’s no excuse. I’ll give you gold if you provide the platter, you know? No one cares about guitar tech stuff or boring questions about my influences, make it relatable. Ask me about my sex life or what I think about Katy Perry. Get juice. There’s hundreds of critics out there analyzing our music, when you have time with me, make me talk and talk dirt.

What does rebellion mean to you? I don’t let people define such relative terms like rebellion or punk or feminism for me. What’s the point? I play music and write stories. Like it or leave it, but you would be a fool to chose the latter.


Lizzie Armanto
Hometown: Santa Monica, CA Day Job: Skateboarder
On your site, you say “I like skateboarding and it likes me back,” which means you guys are pretty hot and heavy. So, when did you first fall in love?
Ever since ‘07.

What’s it like to be a pro skater from Santa Monica and have a whole legacy of skating behind you?
Santa Monica has been home for most of my life and it was not till after I started skating that I learned the history of my hometown. Being from Santa Monica is a privilege but it seems like I’m always aching to get away, although–at the same time I love it.

You’ve traveled all over with Step Up. What’s your favorite place and why?
My favorite place so far is Japan. The food and entertainment are way above par. I have heaps of enthusiasm for their culture and I also went with a good group of people (which is key for traveling).

What does rebellion mean to you? Do you consider yourself rebellious and why?
It means to resist authority. I don’t think of myself as rebellious. I have my opinions and beliefs and everybody should be entitled to that, and if they disagree that’s their deal.


Hometown: Never Never Land Day Job: Flourist, Flour Shop
For one, let’s talk about those classic checkerboard Vans slip-ons: What flavor were they? Where they hard to make?
Its always fun to bake a cake that replicates a real life object, especially when it turns out to be vanilla Vans! I also love painting on cakes, but in this case the check board started getting a little tricky after staring at tiny black squares for a few hours.

What has been your favorite project to work on? What’s been the most challenging?
It’s hard to pick a favorite project since I get new projects every day! It’s always changing but I can definitely say my most challenging project to date has been the “Flour Factory” installation that went up in the Brooklyn Museum. It was 64 feet of edible walls in a rainbow tunnel of sweets. The installation fed almost 1,400 people and I wish I could live in it!

We hear that part of what makes your cakes so very extraordinary is that you sculpt them without the use of fondant—is there a specific reason you don’t use it?
Yes! That’s correct. Flour Shop is Fondant Free! I personally don’t like the taste and texture of fondant, and I love the challenge of buttercream! I’m not selling bananas, and people shouldn’t have to peel their cakes. I want every bite to be as enjoyable as it looks!

What has been the weirdest reaction to your confections?
I had an amazing client who ordered a very specific steak cake and I replicated the steak so realistically that people still to this day find it hard to believe it’s cake! Shortly after, I got another steak cake order and they wanted it not to look too realistic so people would actually know it was a cake.

What is rebellion to you? Do you consider yourself rebellious?
Rebellion to me is not following recipes! I didn’t go to culinary school and before Flour Shop, I had never professionally worked in a kitchen so my rules are very different from a pastry chef. I have no rules! I mix things up, add glitter and hope a unicorn comes out of the oven! Sometimes recipes don’t turn out the way you want them to but that’s also how I have discovered some of my favorite treats!


We’re not too shy when it comes to how we feel about Vans Surf Athlete Leila Hurst. She’s flat out extremely rad. We figured it was more than about time to get her out of the water and designing a collection of sneakers and sandals for us. Sourcing materials and inspiration from her far-flung surf competition travels from Brazil to Bali, Leila put together a collection full of rich, exotic colors and unexpected patterns. While our new sneaks aren’t exactly a plane ticket to Morocco, we’re psyched to have just a little mini vacation on our feet.

It turns out it’s a great time to be Andrea Sonnenberg. Since she first picked up a camera early in high school—they had a dark room there and everything—the San Francisco-based photographer has garnered attention for her candid view of late night, rowdy skate teenagedom with heavy punk leanings.

And yeah, the skeletal mythology of Sonnenberg’s rise—better know as Teen Witch—reads like the whirlwind dream of any aspiring art star: girl meets camera (a vintage number from Harvey Milk’s shop, naturally), girl shoots haunting and exhilarating photos of shows, friends being dumb idiots, skating blood, and boobs, girl gains internet and IRL acclaim from blog and zine offering, girl shows at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art, talks process with Usher.

But when Vans caught up with her for this interview, we were surprised frankly, by her devotion to The Craft (not the Witch movie, but good catch) and the fact that she’s looking forward to and about to start a new chapter in the world of Teen Witch. Which is why, getting back to the point, it’s so good to be Andrea Sonnenberg right now.

A week before our talk, she was finally able to quit her proverbial day job, which, in turn, allows her to participate, manipulate and straight out enjoy the antics she’s observed, admired, and catalogued for so long. “I’ve always been that person who had two jobs and worked really hard,” she says, “and so the people who really inspired me were the ones who were on the road, riding trains and going out there and experiencing life.” To wit, Teen Witch is taking her act on the road with a months-long road trip around the country. “Nothing is guaranteed. Nothing [here in San Francisco] really shocks me anymore, so this is something that I think is going to kind of rejuvenate my passion for it all.“

Teen Witch’s take on the great outdoors. Personally, we can’t wait to see what that looks like.

Follow @teenwitchsf

Learn more about Andrea’s story this Fall in Tobin Yelland’s Documentary “Shoot. Print. Fold” and watch more stories about #LIVINGOFFTHEWALL at livingoffthewall.vans.com
Snap, clap and stomp it out with Director Clara Balzary and a bevy of babes in our latest collection video. We’re into the video static, high wattage of prints, neon colors—and contrast checkerboards, of course. So slip into your finest classics and check out the exclusive behind the scenes look.
Get a full look at our Fall 14 Video