memphis inspired patterns, modernized.
Presented with the opportunity to create a variety of designs for a sneaker line, I chose to digitally illustrate a set of patterns straight out of the ’80s for my brand of choice: Vans.
With a resurgence of trends from the ‘80s and their inspiration in modern-day apparel, I sought to fashion a nostalgic shoe inspired by the Memphis design movement. I would create four unique patterns and apply them to Vans Sk8-Hi shoes; a line that would complement the desired aesthetic perfectly. Taking it a step further, I decided to revive the concept of a light-up shoe by making its functionality more purposeful. The signature Vans stripe would be equipped with a neon glow that could be toggled on or off. This addition would not only serve as a subtle way for wearers to highlight their personalities, but it would double as a safety feature for those who wear the shoes when it’s dark out.
Cultivating a culture that celebrates individualism, Vans strives to enable creative expression as a brand. In order to emphasize this value, I created distinct patterns that appeal to a diverse customer base. To accomplish this, I sampled a broad range of shapes, colors, and textures from the Memphis movement and tailored four patterns; each based on a different aesthetic. I then applied these patterns to the sides of the shoes alone in order to maintain a more modern look. Pulling a single color from each of the four designs, I utilized them as an accent for the light-up functionality. The packaging followed a similar process: relying on a simple presentation that reinforces the novelty of the shoe by highlighting each specific pattern and color option tastefully.
form and function
Fireflies would live as a conceptual sneaker line under the Vans brand. This catalog of shoes currently consists of four classic high-tops, each with their own pattern, lighting option, and packaging. Bridging the gap between the then and now, these shoes strike a balance that will surely elevate one’s wardrobe through both form and function.