Credit: DC Shoes x Andy Warhol

DC Shoes, the brand, is launching a comeback that may just knock all our socks off. Who would’ve guessed that the skate brand would pair with one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, Andy Warhol?

The whole collection is based around one thematic concept – creative “Collisions”. Essentially, this means that they paired two opposing yet dichotomous ideas together. It’s fairly simple stuff you have: WAR & PEACE, LIFE & DEATH, STRENGTH & FRAGILITY, and SAINTS & SINNERS.

For LIFE & DEATH, you can see they’ve combined Warhol’s “Skulls” (1976) with a flower print. Some themes are depicted as simply as that and for the most part it works but some are more abstract. For example, STRENGTH & FRAGILITY isn’t really expressed in the same obvious way. The idea was to juxtapose the grittiness of skate culture with Warhol’s “Fragile” (1962) prints so the actual wearer of the shoe and the shoe itself are part of the expression. It’s well thought out and not always as simple as putting two dichotomous prints together.

Andy Warhol himself probably would have loved this collection. Not because Warhol loved skate culture and fashion, but because using his prints in this way fits his philosophy. He loved merging high and low art through the lens of western consumerism so his works being printed on mass produced shoes and shirts isn’t something as blasphemous as one might think. He did say in The Philosophy of Andy Warhol,

“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you can know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.”

This is definitely a limited way of looking at things as it only really applies to mass produced items that are available everywhere and it hardly relates to high fashion. That’s not to say that DC is high fashion, as it is mass produced and theoretically the President could wear DC. Warhol wasn’t against mass production, far from it as his art has been printed and reprinted a million times by various companies and businesses. Even people who aren’t familiar with art are familiar with Warhol’s “Campbell’s Soup Cans” (1962) and that’s what he was trying to achieve, a blurring of the boundaries between high and low art.

This blurring is ever present in the DC x Warhol Collisions as the collection isn’t expensive (a t-shirt is $50 and a jumper is $100), thus making it available to a wider audience and it has art all over it. Art is notoriously exclusive club with high barriers to entry and a lot of gatekeeping. Something like this is thematically consistent and admirable.

I should actually talk about the capsules themselves, right? The shoes are typical DC skate shoes but with interesting Warhol prints. They aren’t bad but if you aren’t into the chunky skate shoe look that was popular circa 2008, then this isn’t going to interest you. The Manual Hi High Tops are more interesting though.

The tops and hoodies are in fact pretty sick. The Cow Hoodie and The Last Supper Hoodie are personal favourites. In fact, all the Cow related items might be my favourite, so I guess that means I declare WAR & PEACE the winning capsule.

Check out the whole collection because it’s worth it and you might actually be able to grab something rather than visiting the site to find out that they’re all gone.

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