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Vans’ New ‘Bender’ Shoe Taps into Two Major Trends

Vans is taking notes from other popular retailers and offering a shoe that combines two of the biggest fashion trends of the moment: denim and ’90s nostalgia.

On Wednesday, the brand dropped the “Bender,” complete with denim and a variety of bold prints with grunge roots. The patchwork design incorporates panels of leopard print pony hair, red tartan, workwear-inspired beige canvas and black and white houndstooth.

Straight from the Vans’ archive, the Bender is a 2019 remix of the vintage Bold Ni silhouette. The original shoe was the foundation for a number of remakes, including collaborations with retailers and brands like size?, Billy’s Tokyo and Rhude. The shoe’s simplistic design and enduring popularity make it the perfect canvas for redesigns.

The Vans Bold Ni Bender, $80, is available immediately at select retailers and on the Vans website.

Vans’ sneaker falls in line with the growing trend for denim sneakers. Louis Vuitton’s latest sneaker drop featured a denim version of the LV 408 trainer. And before that, footwear brands, like Converse and Nike, released a series of their own denim sneakers.

As brands look for more creative inspiration, they often turn to their archived pieces, as Vans did for its Bender shoe. Tommy Hilfiger is one of the latest designers to resell its vintage pieces, joining the likes of Gap and Wrangler, among others.