Strung Out On Spring!

In 1966, the Van Doren Rubber Company opened for business in Anaheim, CA. A simple canvas shoe, locally made for and sold on the spot to its customers, would make its mark with a simple message: If you love your Vans, bring a friend.
Deeply rooted in the California beach town way of life, the appeal of its individualistic aesthetic and message began to draw attention across state and national borders. Before long, skateboarders noticed the sticky gum rubber sole and sturdy construction that helped them stick their tricks and invent more. Close to half a century later, what began with the Authentic has evolved into a full line of heritage silhouettes representing the heart and identity of Vans.

Having travelled the world to showcase our global Vans Family in the first two issues of the Classic & Family lookbook, and taken a breather to venture into our own backyard in issue No. 3, No. 4 brings old friends and new faces from around the globe once more. As music runs through the Vans veins as thick as blood, these photographers have captured their own devotion to sound in images that speak to a shared passion.

Alexis Gross made it clear in the past issue already that music is somewhat of an extra body part to her. A no-brainer to re-connect with this inspired photographer and have her get to work in her ultimate element. Jess Williams' lens tells the story of Nashville. From the heart of music's capital, this local offers a unique window into the unembellished day-to-day of a city that revolves around one thing, and one thing only. Hong Kong native and Melbourne transplant Sam Wong documents his artist friends' panache for the quotidian chaos that is self-expression, and in Moscow, Sasha Made- muaselle bears photographic witness to the raw outpour of people spinning from the ecstasy only the music we respond to will envelope us in.

Don't be shy, the collateral won't damage, and our tunes will never fail to connect one with the other.

Enjoy.
Strung Out On Spring!

In 1966, the Van Doren Rubber Company opened for business in Anaheim, CA. A simple canvas shoe, locally made for and sold on the spot to its customers, would make its mark with a simple message: If you love your Vans, bring a friend.

Deeply rooted in the California beach town way of life, the appeal of its individualistic aesthetic and message began to draw attention across state and national borders. Before long, skateboarders noticed the sticky gum rubber sole and sturdy construction that helped them stick their tricks and invent more. Close to half a century later, what began with the Authentic has evolved into a full line of heritage silhouettes representing the heart and identity of Vans.

Having travelled the world to showcase our global Vans Family in the first two issues of the Classic & Family lookbook, and taken a breather to venture into our own backyard in issue No. 3, No. 4 brings old friends and new faces from around the globe once more. As music runs through the Vans veins as thick as blood, these photographers have captured their own devotion to sound in images that speak to a shared passion.

Alexis Gross made it clear in the past issue already that music is somewhat of an extra body part to her. A no-brainer to re-connect with this inspired photographer and have her get to work in her ultimate element. Jess Williams' lens tells the story of Nashville. From the heart of music's capital, this local offers a unique window into the unembellished day-to-day of a city that revolves around one thing, and one thing only. Hong Kong native and Melbourne transplant Sam Wong documents his artist friends' panache for the quotidian chaos that is self-expression, and in Moscow, Sasha Made- muaselle bears photographic witness to the raw outpour of people spinning from the ecstasy only the music we respond to will envelope us in.

Don't be shy, the collateral won't damage, and our tunes will never fail to connect one with the other.

Enjoy.

Expand


Alexis Gross

Since we already covered the basics in the third issue of our Vans Classic & Family magazine, my first question to you would be, what have you been up to since we last spoke?
Since we last spoke, I broke my nose and got it fixed all in the same week. I’ve been making more zines, working on my website, and organizing a new project with my best friends revolving around music, skateboarding, and naked women.

What role does music play in your life and work?
I listen to music every day from waking up to going to bed.

What kind of music do you gravitate towards? Have your tastes changed over the years?
My taste varies from Black Flag to Saint Vitus, Graham Nash and Spaceghost Purp. When I was 13, I first started to identify myself with music and listened to punk but would be secretive about putting on DMX or Ja Rule because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was a poser. My music taste has stayed the same since then but I’m now very open to dis- cuss my appreciation for most genres.

How did you approach this shoot with this issue’s em- phasis on music?
The role that music plays in my life is crucial. It’s my influ- ence behind the way I dress, the way I cut my hair, the way I drive my car, the way I take my photos, the way I hit on men. I grew up in a musically inclined family, which gave me pretty great taste in music as a kid until I got sent away to sleep away camp and discovered Slipknot. Soon, my parents would discover that my attendance at school was at an all time minimum and my attendance at shows were at an all time high.

Who did you choose to photograph?
Being that I grew up in New York, I got to photograph my best friends who have seen me going through it all with my photo “career”. To let them be a part of what I was doing was very rewarding. These photos are just us doing what we do regularly in New York City.

alexisgross.com alexisgrossphotography.tumblr.com

Expand

Alexis Gross

Since we already covered the basics in the third issue of our Vans Classic & Family magazine, my first question to you would be, what have you been up to since we last spoke?
Since we last spoke, I broke my nose and got it fixed all in the same week. I’ve been making more zines, working on my website, and organizing a new project with my best friends revolving around music, skateboarding, and naked women.

What role does music play in your life and work?
I listen to music every day from waking up to going to bed.

What kind of music do you gravitate towards? Have your tastes changed over the years?
My taste varies from Black Flag to Saint Vitus, Graham Nash and Spaceghost Purp. When I was 13, I first started to identify myself with music and listened to punk but would be secretive about putting on DMX or Ja Rule because I didn’t want anyone to think that I was a poser. My music taste has stayed the same since then but I’m now very open to dis- cuss my appreciation for most genres.

How did you approach this shoot with this issue’s em- phasis on music?
The role that music plays in my life is crucial. It’s my influ- ence behind the way I dress, the way I cut my hair, the way I drive my car, the way I take my photos, the way I hit on men. I grew up in a musically inclined family, which gave me pretty great taste in music as a kid until I got sent away to sleep away camp and discovered Slipknot. Soon, my parents would discover that my attendance at school was at an all time minimum and my attendance at shows were at an all time high.

Who did you choose to photograph?
Being that I grew up in New York, I got to photograph my best friends who have seen me going through it all with my photo “career”. To let them be a part of what I was doing was very rewarding. These photos are just us doing what we do regularly in New York City.

alexisgross.com alexisgrossphotography.tumblr.com


Sam Wong

Where are you from? Where do you live?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong but have lived in Melbourne, Australia for the past eight years.

What first drew you to photography?
When I was 15, I started bboying (break dance) with my crew, KINGS ONLY, on the streets. We spent hours each weekend busking in different parts of the city. Over time, I became obsessed with the flow, energy and characteristic of Melbourne CBD. I was later given a film camera by my art teacher. I used it to document our lives on the street and bat- tles we go to.

Do you focus on certain subjects? What do you prefer to shoot?
My subject matter focuses on moments around me. This often happens when I step into the streets or shoot events. I spent a majority of my free time looking around. When the right time intrigues, I follow my instinct and click.

Is there a particular asset to the craft that suits you especially well?
I’d say the best asset would be my blog, Kid Kong Street. I often work with plenty of different cameras both digital and analog. But having a place to track my progress and flashback, it makes a bad day just another day. I prefer my images to be in black and white. It helps me pause in the graphic world we live in today.

What are some of the more memorable projects you’ve worked on?
I’ve been working on a personal project, “Wild For The Night”, for the past two years. It depicts Melbourne late at night. It has been fairly exhausting, but is adventurous.

Who did you choose to shoot for our issue?
I photographed a bunch of designers, dancers and trouble- making friends in their environment. The ones who share a great passion for what they love doing. Some of them I just met and some I haven’t caught up with in months. Exploring their daily adventures and places, they took me to through this issue.

kidkongstreet.tumblr.com

Expand
Sam Wong

Where are you from? Where do you live?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong but have lived in Melbourne, Australia for the past eight years.

What first drew you to photography?
When I was 15, I started bboying (break dance) with my crew, KINGS ONLY, on the streets. We spent hours each weekend busking in different parts of the city. Over time, I became obsessed with the flow, energy and characteristic of Melbourne CBD. I was later given a film camera by my art teacher. I used it to document our lives on the street and bat- tles we go to.

Do you focus on certain subjects? What do you prefer to shoot?
My subject matter focuses on moments around me. This often happens when I step into the streets or shoot events. I spent a majority of my free time looking around. When the right time intrigues, I follow my instinct and click.

Is there a particular asset to the craft that suits you especially well?
I’d say the best asset would be my blog, Kid Kong Street. I often work with plenty of different cameras both digital and analog. But having a place to track my progress and flashback, it makes a bad day just another day. I prefer my images to be in black and white. It helps me pause in the graphic world we live in today.

What are some of the more memorable projects you’ve worked on?
I’ve been working on a personal project, “Wild For The Night”, for the past two years. It depicts Melbourne late at night. It has been fairly exhausting, but is adventurous.

Who did you choose to shoot for our issue?
I photographed a bunch of designers, dancers and trouble- making friends in their environment. The ones who share a great passion for what they love doing. Some of them I just met and some I haven’t caught up with in months. Exploring their daily adventures and places, they took me to through this issue.

kidkongstreet.tumblr.com


Sasha Mademuaselle

Where are you from? Where do you live?
I live in Moscow, Russia. Moscow is the capital of cool third- world countries.

How did you get into photography?
I always liked beautiful pictures. Once, when I was 17, I wondered why I am not doing it myself. This is when I started taking pictures of my beautiful friends at the parties.

Is there something you like to shoot especially?
I love everything connected with the human body. Especially the female one. It could be easily seen in my photos. I also like taking pictures of hair and nails.

How would you say the environment you live in informs your photography?
Sometimes it seems to me that things that happen on my photos don’t necessarily have to happen in Moscow. All these things could equally happen in Berlin or Los Ange- les. And at the same time, people in these pictures are very Russian anyway. They grew up here and it naturally affected them.

Regarding the photos you shot for this issue, how do you shoot music?
I often shoot at parties, so shooting concerts is something quite trivial for me. Some bands can be very boring and I am not shooting them. Of course there are musicians that put a lot of energy in their performances, and I like it.

What did you create for our current issue?
All the people you see in my pictures are my friends. Some of them are musicians, some are skaters who skate for the Vans Russia team. For them, Vans is not just shoes. I’ve been wearing Vans for as long as I remember myself. The most dif- ficult has always been to throw away my old worn-out Vans. The bigger the holes, the more precious they become for me. It’s like throwing away an old friend with whom you’ve been through so many adventures.

flickr.com/photos/mademuaselle

Expand

Sasha Mademuaselle

Where are you from? Where do you live?
I live in Moscow, Russia. Moscow is the capital of cool third-world countries.

How did you get into photography?
I always liked beautiful pictures. Once, when I was 17, I wondered why I am not doing it myself. This is when I started taking pictures of my beautiful friends at the parties.

Is there something you like to shoot especially?
I love everything connected with the human body. Especially the female one. It could be easily seen in my photos. I also like taking pictures of hair and nails.

How would you say the environment you live in informs your photography?
Sometimes it seems to me that things that happen on my photos don’t necessarily have to happen in Moscow. All these things could equally happen in Berlin or Los Angeles. And at the same time, people in these pictures are very Russian anyway. They grew up here and it naturally affected them.

Regarding the photos you shot for this issue, how do you shoot music?
I often shoot at parties, so shooting concerts is something quite trivial for me. Some bands can be very boring and I am not shooting them. Of course there are musicians that put a lot of energy in their performances, and I like it.

What did you create for our current issue?
All the people you see in my pictures are my friends. Some of them are musicians, some are skaters who skate for the Vans Russia team. For them, Vans is not just shoes. I’ve been wearing Vans for as long as I remember myself. The most dif- ficult has always been to throw away my old worn-out Vans. The bigger the holes, the more precious they become for me. It’s like throwing away an old friend with whom you’ve been through so many adventures.

flickr.com/photos/mademuaselle


Jess Williams

You live in Nashville and you got into photography during your first deployment with the military in 2006. When/where did you go?
January of 2006, I was 22 years old and deployed to Afghani- stan. I was excited and scared at the same time. I had no idea what to expect. I purchased my first digital point and shoot camera and didn’t have any knowledge of the funda- mentals of photography. I first started producing stupid vid- eos of my fellow soldiers for our own entertainment. Honestly, all I knew at the time was that I enjoyed taking photos.

What ties you to Nashville most?
Music. I got into playing music long before my photography endeavors. No matter what you choose to do or how you choose to live your life in Nashville, you will always be sur- rounded by music. I think it’s a part of everyone’s life that lives here. Luckily, photography and music go very well together here in Nashville.

Are there particular jobs or projects that have stood out to you in your working life as a photographer?
I think my favorite project would have to be my first published assignment for a local culture magazine. To have a team of artists request for your work to be in their publication was an amazing feeling. I really felt it was a milestone for me, and a reward for all the hard work I’ve done. There is no other feel- ing like seeing your work published for the first time, for the public to physically hold, view, and enjoy.

Regarding the photos you shot for this issue, how do you go about shooting music-related images in general?
I felt like I needed to capture Nashville’s music scene in its grittiest dirtiest fashion, without all the glamour that goes with it after becoming a successful artist in Nashville. I wanted to capture music in its intimate setting where it’s being cre- ated—not in a studio, but rather in a living room, garage, around a fire or front porch at 3 in the morning.

What did you shoot for our current issue and why?
I shot my friends doing what they do during a typical week- end in Nashville. It was the most relaxing and most raw shoot I’ve ever done. I wanted to capture part of Nashville’s lifestyle that people aren’t familiar with. Yes, this is the music city capital, but it’s not Hollywood. It’s genuine and dirty. I think that’s what this issue needed.

jesswilliamsphotos.com

Expand
Jess Williams

You live in Nashville and you got into photography during your first deployment with the military in 2006. When/where did you go?
January of 2006, I was 22 years old and deployed to Afghani- stan. I was excited and scared at the same time. I had no idea what to expect. I purchased my first digital point and shoot camera and didn’t have any knowledge of the funda- mentals of photography. I first started producing stupid vid- eos of my fellow soldiers for our own entertainment. Honestly, all I knew at the time was that I enjoyed taking photos.

What ties you to Nashville most?
Music. I got into playing music long before my photography endeavors. No matter what you choose to do or how you choose to live your life in Nashville, you will always be sur- rounded by music. I think it’s a part of everyone’s life that lives here. Luckily, photography and music go very well together here in Nashville.

Are there particular jobs or projects that have stood out to you in your working life as a photographer?
I think my favorite project would have to be my first published assignment for a local culture magazine. To have a team of artists request for your work to be in their publication was an amazing feeling. I really felt it was a milestone for me, and a reward for all the hard work I’ve done. There is no other feel- ing like seeing your work published for the first time, for the public to physically hold, view, and enjoy.

Regarding the photos you shot for this issue, how do you go about shooting music-related images in general?
I felt like I needed to capture Nashville’s music scene in its grittiest dirtiest fashion, without all the glamour that goes with it after becoming a successful artist in Nashville. I wanted to capture music in its intimate setting where it’s being cre- ated—not in a studio, but rather in a living room, garage, around a fire or front porch at 3 in the morning.

What did you shoot for our current issue and why?
I shot my friends doing what they do during a typical week- end in Nashville. It was the most relaxing and most raw shoot I’ve ever done. I wanted to capture part of Nashville’s lifestyle that people aren’t familiar with. Yes, this is the music city capital, but it’s not Hollywood. It’s genuine and dirty. I think that’s what this issue needed.

jesswilliamsphotos.com