Even 40 years after it brought metal into the mainstream, Metallica remains a cultural juggernaut.
The heavy metal band’s outsize influence has bred four Vans collaborations over the years—including this week’s already-sold-out drop celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Grammy-winning ensemble’s best-selling “Black Album.”
The limited-edition collection offered two iconic Vans silhouettes—the Sk8-Hi and Classic Slip-On. Both styles featured artwork inspired by Metallica and designed by Pushead, one of the band’s past artistic collaborators. The shoes debuted through Vans’ Family loyalty program at midnight Monday. Metallica’s official website dropped the collection later that day, at noon.
Since its original release in August 1991, Metallica’s “Black Album” has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide and spent more than 580 consecutive weeks atop the music charts. The record—the group’s fifth—features some of Metallica’s most famous hits, including “Enter Sandman,” “Nothing Else Matters” and “The Unforgiven.”
Vans’ latest Metallica sneakers feature the “Sad But True” twin-skull design that has become synonymous with the group’s “Black Album” era. Both silhouettes also showcase silver Metallica branding—around the sidewall of the Sk8-Hi and atop the upper of the Slip-On—as well as a graphic blue shatter design.
Vans’ Metallica drop arrives as Levi’s celebrates the anniversary of another rock institution: the Grateful Dead. Fifty years on from the group’s iconic “Skull & Roses” album, the denim brand marked the occasion by releasing a collection of T-shirts, fleece and accessories featuring colorful Grateful Dead-inspired tie-dye and graphics. The lineup also features several denim options, including a high-rise wide-leg style for women, medium wash 501s with Grateful Dead patchwork for men and an acid wash trucker jacket.
Also this week, Vans is teaming up with the Berlin-based skate brand Civilist to release three new Sk8-Low colorways. The two brands tapped Carsten Fock, a German artist known for his graphics and paintings inspired by fashion, pop culture, politics and society, to help design the collection. The lineup includes two contrasting black and white colorways—the latter exclusive to Civilist—as well as a tonal navy colorway. The collection launches Wednesday in-store at Civilist, Thursday on the German brand’s website and Friday at select skate sellers.