We’re still not quite sure how the checkerboard slip-on Vans we thought were the height of fashion in middle school have actually become high-fashion, but here we are. The shoe, created by Costa Mesa-based skateboarding brand Vans, has been around since 1977. In 1982, it rose to prominence when Sean Penn slipped into a pair for Fast Times at Ridgemont High and then spent decades as the go-to footwear for stoner skaters with names like Spike and Queef.
All seemed well in the land of checkerboard Vans for years until, last year, something unexpected happened: It became a fashion must-have. At the final White House state dinner for President Obama, dream bae Frank Ocean donned a pair to add a daring flair to his navy suit and white dress shirt, which Vogue declared was a “bold, rebellious choice” for the singer. Immediately, the checkerboard slip-on became the go-to for everyone from Justin Bieber and Ty Dolla Sign to Ryan Reynolds.
Now, at the height of its resurgence into pop culture, the design has fallen under the watchful eye of Vetements, the punk fashion brand famous for trolling. In an Instagram post titled “VETEMENTS SS18,” the design house showcased a blue-and-black checkerboard shoe with the heel crushed down to create a “slide” style with yellow “Vetements” lettering on the back tab.
There’s no word yet on whether this is an official collab with Vans or how much these shoes will cost you but, in the meantime, you can live out your Vetement dreams by recreating the shoe in two easy steps. Just push the heel down on the pair of Vans you forgot are sitting in your closet and walk around for a few hours. For bonus points and major street cred, take a yellow sharpie and write Vetements on the back. In the cut throat game of life, it’s all about faking it until you make it one checkerboard at a time.