Vault by Vans collabs with skate legend Ray Barbee for new collection

This holiday season, Vans introduces the Vault by Vans x Ray Barbee “Capturing the Journey” collection that celebrates creativity by putting Vans’ signature skate twist in collaboration with the sophisticated photography brand, Leica Camera AG. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is based on a long tradition of excellent quality, German craftsmanship and German industrial design, combined with innovative technologies. Legendary photographers and artists from all over the world prize Leica quality. Vans pro athlete and professional skateboarder Ray Barbee happens to be one of those influential artists using a Leica M camera for years.

Born in San Jose, California in 1971, Ray Barbee was one of the first skateboarders to bring freestyle, flat ground tricks to the street and turned pro in 1989, just six years after he started skating. Ray was always surrounded by gifted skateboard photographers and got the chance to see their work up close. Inspired by what they accomplished in capturing the movement and energy of his sport, he was driven to shoot his own photos and get into the darkroom making richly shaded silver gelatin prints.

As a trailblazer for ’90s and early 2000s skateboarding, Ray used a distinctly ’90s color palette throughout the Vault by Vans x Ray Barbee “Capturing the Journey”, balancing light blue and brown against dark red and teal. In a nod to the tradition of these classic Vans styles, the uppers are all suede and canvas, but Ray made them his own with several key details. 


The OG Authentic LX, and each silhouette Ray collaborated on, has a special quote from him embroidered on the left shoe that reads “The joy is in capturing the journey.” As a nod to the camera he loves, the right shoe has a quote in German by Ernst Leitz (LEItz CAmera – LEICA) – “Ich entscheide hiermit: es wird riskiert,” (“I herby decide: the risk shall be taken”) which marked the go-ahead for the production of the first Leica I camera in 1924. Printed, raised red dots on the sole and red top eyelets and lace aglets are a shout out to the minimalist iconic Leica logo.

The apparel pieces are all items that Ray wears and loves in his day-to-day life. The Vault by Vans x Ray Barbee “Capturing the Journey” cotton twill Station Jacket is inspired by one of his favorite jackets, featuring classic styling, side entry pockets, metal zipper and snaps, as well as Ray’s personal signature at the back neck. The short sleeve cotton Vault by Vans fitted T-shirt in aquatic, as well as a long sleeve tee and pull over, are printed with his photos which will be presented in an exquisite exhibition in the Leica Gallery Los Angeles.  Other footwear styles include the OG Slip-On LX, the OG Old Skool LX and the OG SK8-Hi LX.

Finally, the three partners – Vans, Ray Barbee and Leica – have teamed up to introduce the limited-edition Leica D-Lux 7 Vans x Ray Barbee: an extraordinary camera covered in Vans’ iconic checkerboard pattern. The top plate of the camera features Ray Barbee’s signature, as well as the Vault by Vans logo. The set includes a specially designed carrier strap and matching dust bag, both in petrol blue. The limited special edition camera is available in Leica Stores around the world.

The Vault by Vans x Ray Barbee “Capturing the Journey” will be available beginning November 19, 2021, at Vault by Vans retailers. For more information and where to purchase, please visit The Drop List, a calendar of Vans’ most exclusive product drops.


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