Sandy Liang x Vans
Credit: Sandy Liang x Vans

The New Supermodel Sneaker Is Here, and It's My Favorite Shoe Ever

You can buy it itfor $100 at Nordstrom. 
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I'll never forget the first time I laid eyes on a piece by Sandy Liang. I was 24 years old and trying to break into fashion journalism, saving every single film photo of her designs, worn by models walking around the Lower East Side, to my desktop. The week before I started my first-ever fashion job, I impulsively bought the Accord dress on sale to celebrate my initiation into the industry.

As a present to myself for my second-ever fashion job, I purchased one of Sandy Liang's iconic puffer coats at Nordstrom to see me through New York's brutal winters. And right before 2020 took a turn for the worse, one of my very last pre-pandemic memories was made at the very first Sandy Liang x Vans collaboration party. I bought a pair of the collection's fluffy white leopard print sneakers on the spot, unaware the sneaker-slipper hybrid would be relegated to the four walls of my house for more than a year. And while I had hoped to score street style points with my new investment, I must admit that they were a fitting shoe given the circumstances. 

Evidently, every Sandy Liang piece I own illicites a vivid memory, so naturally I am very eager to get my hands on the latest collaboration with Vans in order to start 2022 on the right (and fashionable) foot. An intimate collection of six styles, each sneaker from the launch is currently available at Nordstrom, with no pair costing more than $110. It should go without saying that every sneaker from the collaboration is sitting in my cart, and it's going to take a lot of willpower to whittle down my selection. 

Sandy Liang x Vans
Credit: Sandy Liang x Vans

I think the reason I love Sandy Liang's collaborations with Vans so much is because they're everything I love about the brand condensed into a handful of easy-to-wear shoes that don't look like anything else out there. All of her pieces remind me of New York City, where both Liang and I grew up. They're equal parts edgy and feminine — a mix of downtown cool girl and eccentric grandma style. For example, take theIt's best explained by looking at the Sk8-Hi Tapered Mountain High Top Platform Sneaker. The shoes represent gritty skater culture, but Liang's addition of lace adds an unexpected girly touch. Not to mention, they have a chunky removable outsole that transforms the sneakers into the type of over-the-top footwear NYC is known for. 

Sandy Liang x Vans
Credit: Sandy Liang x Vans
Sandy Liang x Vans
Credit: Sandy Liang x Vans

The collection also includes a gingham low-top sneaker with floral embellishments and a small detachable pouch on the tongue to collect all of the treasures you might find walking around the city. If you'd prefer a platform, the 73 DX sneaker features floral embroidery, which reminds me of my favorite bodega flowers, and faded butterflies on the platform that resemble sidewalk chalk drawings, an ode to NYC summers. And for anyone trying to manifest their inner child through fashion, the 44DX platform sneaker showcases a colorful, scribbled floral design that takes me back to running around (in Vans, of course) at middle school recess in the early 2000s. 

I've been working in the fashion industry for a while now, and while I might not be the same bright-eyed fashion journalist I once was, I still keep photos from Sandy Liang's collection on my desktop, knowing that when the perfect special occasion arises, I'll find a way to justify buying her quilted pink half zip hoodie and matching skirt. But, until then, I'll be contemplating which shoe I'll be adding to my lineup from the Vans x Sandy Liang collection. At least this time around, I'll be able to wear them out of the house and give them the spotlight they deserve.

Shop the highly-anticipated collection at Nordstrom below before it inevitably sells out. 

Vans x Sandy Liang Sk8-Hi Tapered Modular High Top Platform Sneaker

Sandy Liang x Vans at Nordstrom
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $100; nordstrom.com

Vans x Sandy Liang Sk8-Hi 38 DX Embroidered High Top Platform Sneaker

Sandy Liang x Vans at Nordstrom
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $110; nordstrom.com

Vans x Sandy Liang Half Cab 33 DX Sneaker

Sandy Liang x Vans at Nordstrom
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $105; nordstrom.com

Vans x Sandy Liang Authentic 44 DX Floral Low Top Sneaker

Sandy Liang x Vans at Nordstrom
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $100; nordstrom.com

Vans x Sandy Liang 73 DX Embroidered Platform Sneaker

Sandy Liang x Vans at Nordstrom
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $100; nordstrom.com

Vans x Sandy Liang Authentic 44 DX Butterfly Platform Sneaker

Sandy Liang x Vans at Nordstrom
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $100; nordstrom.com