words // Brennan Hiro Williams

Vans Vault will launch Taka Hayashi's eighth signature collection at San Diego's BLENDS this week, showcasing the designer's work with a special event on Friday, March 8. In addition to the launch, BLENDS will release a special edition Sk8-Hi, celebrating the shop's 10-year anniversary in Southern California. The shoe, designed by BLENDS owner Tak Kato, will be limited to 200 pairs. Check out the event details below:

Taka continues to put his indelible stamp on Vans' classic silhouettes as well as push the boundaries of conventional sneaker design through his signature line utilizing rich Horween leather and Vibram outsoles. With the 8th installment of his signature line, Taka has taken the next step and immersed himself in the creation of a small apparel capsule consisting of five signature pieces. His footwear inspiration for this season was infused with cues from mountaineering. Laces, toe pieces, and outsoles transport a boot aesthetic molded into sneaker design elements that tie these silhouettes back to Taka’s roots and reflect his skillful expressiveness.

A self-taught illustrator, painter and graphic designer, Taka Hayashi was born in Yokohama, Japan. At nine, he found himself transplanted to Santa Monica, CA together with his family, where he was poised to collide with a defining moment and place of skateboard history. Having come of age in this iconic era, it has remained a constant companion and key influence in his life art, and design. His indelible mark on Vans’ classic silhouettes and tireless effort to challenge conventions of sneaker design can be felt in every piece he touches.

In addition, Blends will be releasing a special edition Sk8-HI in honor of their 10-year anniversary residency in Southern California. This collaboration shoe will be limited to 200 pairs and was designed by Blends’ co-founder, Tak. As an avid fan of motorcycle culture, he drew his inspiration for materials and design from an old pair of motorcycle gloves.

Please join us Friday March 8 at Blends San Diego from 6pm-9pm. There will be an art showcase by Taka Hayashi, hosted beverages, music and much more. Please RSVP at rsvptovans@gmail.com. Subject: Blends Event.