Awake New York is launching its subsequent footwear collaboration with Vans for Foot Locker’s Greenhouse.
While founder and designer Angelo Baque has partnered with Asics and Merrell for Awake, however this collaboration marks Awake’s first partnership with Vans. Baque designed three colorways of the Classic Sk8 Hi launching on Oct. 15, 20 and 22 for $90, and that includes designs like Batik swatches, a digitally printed checkerboard sample, edge-painted aspect strips, suede toe packing containers and white vulcanized midsoles.
Baque mentioned he and Vans have a relationship from his days at Supreme, and through these 10 years with the streetwear model, he seen Vans reference to New York City.
“I’ve always liked Vans and in the last four or five years the brand has been a part of the New York City landscape, especially the Sk8 Hi sneakers,” Baque mentioned. “The brand transcended skate into music and has been able to break through this need to be a skater to become a lifestyle brand. It’s a brand that kids here in New York gravitate toward.”
This collaboration is the beginning of a 16-month partnership between Awake and Foot Locker they usually plan to launch two extra Vans tasks. In addition to this launch, Awake and Foot Locker will make donations to Washington Heights-based Fresh Youth Initiative supporting low-income immigrant and first-generation youngsters in Northern Manhattan and Children of Promise.
“It’s not the first time I’m working with Children of Promise,” Baque mentioned. The designer teamed with Nike and Timberland via his community-driven platform Social Studies established with photographer Shaniqwa Jarvis and Something Special Studios, and donated additional sneakers from the collaborations to youngsters with Children of Promise.
“The organization works with children of incarcerated parents,” Baque defined. “These kids have either had donated or hand-me-down shoes, but we had extra shoes from Nike and Timberland. I went in my car and delivered all of these shoes from Social Studies.”
Baque has made positive his collaborations and product launches help communities, whether or not it’s the youth, households, and even attorneys. He used the phrase “conscious capitalism” to clarify his mission with the model to help these combating in opposition to and dealing in opposition to injustices whereas operating a enterprise.
Awake dropped New York Yankees and New York Mets caps with New Era with the proceeds from gross sales supporting Queens-based nonprofit New Immigrant Community Empowerment and Bronx-based nonprofit The Point CDC, and raised funds for Building Black Bedstuy via gross sales of a graphic T-shirt.
In June 2020, Awake bought emblem hoodies and hats and donated 60 p.c of gross sales to Black Lives Matter protesters. This yr, the model teamed with Griselda rapper Westside Gunn for his group Flygod for Families in Buffalo, N.Y., giving backpacks and sneakers for teenagers for again to high school and for a artistic paint-and-sip occasion the place youngsters painted and sipped lemonade (Gunn additionally fronts the Awake x Vans collaboration marketing campaign).
This new partnership with Foot Locker via Greenhouse is an extension of the model’s ongoing philanthropic efforts.
“There is always a give-back with every project we do,” Baque mentioned. “It’s really important to be consistent when working with these organizations. It’s about showing face and meeting the kids and for them to see themselves.”
He added that this yr has been “a lot of hard work” for the model, however was prepped by such a tough yr in 2020.
“We all had to acclimate and improvise and I’m glad we’re still here and continue to do the work, survive last year and continue for this year and not lose our brand ethos and DNA,” he added.
As Baque appears to 2022, he shared the model will launch collaborations with Carhartt and Lacoste, and is eyeing retail.
“We’re looking at our first store for 2022,” he mentioned. “What I envision aside from a retail space is having a community center that we can have to be able to bow-tie this narrative of working with kids. Offer Photoshop lessons, have artists that we work with to talk about how they’ve made it, including Shaniqwa [Jarvis], Chris Gibbs, Tremaine Emory. What matters most would be to open our first brick-and-mortar.”
Baque sees retail as a possibility to offer youngsters a spot to hang around, which he believes doesn’t exist in the intervening time. “We’re filling a gap that is empty,” he mentioned. “Where can that local kid go to hang out? I want to have reference issues in the store, be transparent about what inspires the collection, to speak to kids in front of the store. In the tradition of New York City stores I grew up going to, that energy doesn’t exist right now.”