Vans and BJ Betts team up for the first time to bring us a new range of “Made for the Makers” product. The legendary American tattoo artist and graphic designer combined his distinct aesthetic with three classic silhouettes from the California footwear label to create an assortment of functional, military-inspired styles.

Over the past two plus decades, BJ Betts has been at the forefront of the ever-changing tattoo world. Blending traditional tattoo elements with gothic imagery and Japanese folklore, Betts’ style is hallmarked by an emphasis on unique fonts and precise lettering. Having released a series of industry standard guides on lettering, Betts’ relevance to graphic design and tattoo art is undisputed. Today he works primarily out of his Kennett Square, Pennsylvania studio State Street Tattoo.

Tapping into the ornate designs that he’s become known for, Betts worked with Vans to update a trio of Classics—the Old Skool, Authentic and Slip-On, featuring original camouflage patterns in muted military-inspired colors. Each of the styles feature mixed suede and canvas uppers in liquid and dirt repellant Vansguard® coating with camouflage UltraCush sockliners and Vans’ “Made for the Makers” benefits including slip-resistant, vulcanized lugged outsoles, maximizing comfort without sacrificing personal style. Betts’ rendition features the addition of pull tabs at the heel, with digits representing his birth year (’71), alongside the original Vans style numbers.

‘’I wanted to make something functional. Being an artist and working long hours, more times than not I end up going out and having dinner later in the evening and going to meet up with my family and friends directly from work. 

I wanted to have a collection that could be worn easily and comfortably while working, with the stain resistant qualities that allow me to head out for a nice dinner looking presentable with a simple wipe down of my shoes. The shoes are generally the first thing that is noticed, am I wrong?

 The camo pattern and its colors are inspired by my military service, and my Grandfather’s service as well, who was one of the best men that ever walked this earth, and who this whole project is dedicated to. ‘’

 – BJ Betts

 The Vans x BJ Betts collection is now available on, at select Vans retail doors and Philadelphia retailer Lapstone and Hammer.

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