The California Collection's subtle design elements and unique material choices connect a rich heritage of modernism with the spirit of Americana craftsmanship and artistry. Traces of vintage surf and skate inform a collection character that is perceptive to the aesthetics of subculture throughout. From the bohemian movement forged by the early beat poets of the 50s and the folksingers of the 60s and 70s to the street and tattoo artists driving popular art today, progressive styles from the hearts of Los Angeles and San Francisco find a new idiosyncratic expressiveness that is personal, inspired, and unpretentious. Relying on the spoils of an extensive design archive, attention to detail and sophisticated materializations complement the creative panache that is the particular mark of this assortment. Each style is a rendition of a singular voice that reverberates with the desire for longevity and the lure of the unexplored.

Photo Essay

Jon Warren, photography & product design CA:

Los Angeles has always been about selling dreams and home to the nuts and fruits. But if you take the time to dig into the city, it is full of subcultures and iconic spots that have influence across the globe. We wanted to create that vintage "Map of the Stars" vibe. From an entrenched point of view, it's our way of showing a different side of California.

Tait Hawes, creative direction CA:

Freeways, traffic, smog, derelicts, Sunset strip, Hollywood Blvd, actors, bums, addicts, surfers, skaters, artists, bohemians, gangsters, socialites, the Valleys, the filthy rich. We love LA. It's the birthplace and home to some of our most beloved Vans family members and history.

For the Spring 2014 line we photographed the city trying to give a visual dissection of an integral piece of the California Collection story. The line is not just inspired by the Santa Inez mountains in Santa Barbara or the pristine coves of Malibu. It is also built from memories of first punk shows, skate spots and late nights traversing the diverse cultural landscape in the city of angels. Love it or hate it, LA is a living, breathing force of creativity and weirdness that Vans embraces and the California Collection exemplifies.