Following her collaboration with Reebok for the Club C Geo Mid and Diemme for ultra-functional slip-ons with detachable uppers, upcycling maestro Nicole McLaughlin now works with Vault By Vans for a special-edition Slip-On VP VR3 LX.

“The Vault by Vans NM Gardening Tote is a vision I’ve had for a while”, said Nicole McLaughlin. “I’ve always loved the Slip-Ons and the traditional canvas upper. The idea of canvas made me think about vintage gardening bags and it inspired me to make my own version, a functional gardening tote Slip-On.”

Fusing function and design, the collaborative pairs offer a renewed purpose to the Slip-On silhouette, incorporating storage pockets for objects such as gardening materials and work tools across the toe vamp. Two colorways are available including a “White/Green” pair inspired by the classic gardening tote and a “Brown/Grey” colorway referencing workwear bucket bags used at job sites.

Uppers consist of organic cotton canvas with 50% recycled polyester bindings while the footbed is made with at least 25% biobased EVA foam derived from plants. A new VR3Waffle outsole contains 60% responsibly sourced natural rubber and both silhou ettes are finished with custom Nicole McLaughlin labels and ankle collar straps for easy carry and storage.

“I created the original sample by using an old gardening bag, and the idea of sourcing sustainable fabrics and materials followed through the rest of the design process. I’m so excited with how the shoes turned out and it was so fun collaborating with the Vans team, they made my vision come to life!”

The campaign spotlights two local craftspeople from Boulder, Colorado. The first is Alice Starek, who’s seen on her farm and hand-built greenhouse. The location serves as a tropical ecosystem for fruits and plants and a warm sanctuary through the winter months. The second to be featured in the lookbook is Howard Palmer in his wood shop on the North edge of Boulder. There, he repairs furniture, restores antiques and does design work for custom homes.

Capturing the spirit of McLaughlin’s design ingenuity is Peter Sutherland while Kyle Kivijärvi, the founder and curator of Gramparents, an Instagram account cataloging the style and sensibilities of seniors, oversaw creative direction.

The Vault by Vans x Nicole McLaughlin collection will be available globally on March 31 via the Vans website and select Vault by Vans retail locations. More details can be found here.

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