My Adventure: Vans Vault x Blends – 10 Year Anniversary Sk8-Hi Zip LX / Vans Shop In A Shop (Release Recap!)

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Success!  That was the general feeling going around amongst the Blends family.  The excitement was in the air, and it was infectious.  Preparing two events, to coincide the same day, is no simple feat, and my hat goes off to them for a terrific job.  Read on, after the jump, to see how my journey went, following this SoCal release throughout the day in the OC, all the way into the night, ending in San Diego. 

It’s rare that I get to do something like this, on such a local, centralized scale.  I took advantage of being in SoCal, and being able to document this awesome occasion.  This is from a typical sneaker fanatics point of view, and if you aren’t a sneaker collector, and you aren’t out there on the “front lines” lining up with the consumers, then you really can’t share that authenticity like we can.  All you can do is show pictures of your shoes, which we’ve already seen a hundred times from everyone else with the same hashtags.  This keeps this shit fun, and it keeps me from getting jaded by all the sneaker bullshit that we have to put up with these days.  Be grateful the Vans community doesn’t have to put up with most of the “risks” that come with hunting down other brands of sneakers.

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The day was long, starting out by tending to a queue of Vans enthusiasts, collectors, and a few friends doing pickups for the highly anticipated 10 Year Anniversary Sk8-Hi.  Blends LA had people there since the night before, and the two Orange County locations, Costa Mesa, and Santa Ana, had lineups starting about 4 hours before store opening.  With each store getting around 20-something pairs for sale, and almost slim-to-no larger sizes (11.5, 12, & 13), and online selling out in damn near 20 seconds, with a brief random size restock, these came and went as if they never existed!  I met up some fellow OTWS members at Costa Mesa, as well as a few lurkers who follow us and our nonsense over here, to sit in the cold rain for a few hours.  I don’t know how the other locations went down, but everyone in line, all 12 or 13 of us, miraculously got the size we came to get.  Astonishing, right?  When does that ever happen?

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From there, I took a drive in the flooded streets up to the Santa Ana store, where I stopped in for a quick look, and to pick up another pair of the Sk8-Hi’s for a friend.  Things were calm, and there was just one person purchasing a pair at the time.  They were down to 2 pairs left, so they had a great turnout as well.  A few text messages from fellow OTWS members let me know that the downtown Los Angeles store had told them that they were sold out as well.  As expected!

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The San Diego Blends location was the belle of the ball, though.  Their new Vans “shop in a shop” build-out, freshly installed, and hanging around til’ August, was a perfect way to launch the 10 Year Anniversary Sk8-Hi, the first batch of the 2013 Vault x Taka Hayashi collection, as well as all the latest drops from Vault, California, Van Doren, and the rest of the Vans Spring/Summer stuff.  It’s a cool feature that you should definitely check out the next time you’re in downtown San Diego.  Vans and Blends hosted a great event, with free booze, food, and beats.  The rain was pouring down at times, but that didn’t stop everyone from coming out.  I got to run into a few old friends, and meet some new friends, including most of the Blends fam, special shouts to Julz (@julzdelapena) from Blends SD for rockin’ our snapback the entire night!, and lastly, Taka Hayashi!  I told him I saw him at the last event at Costa Mesa, but he was busy talking to others.  Truthfully, I didn’t wanna geek out.  He’s iconic, and kind of a big deal in our little world of Vans over here at OTWS.  He’s more fuckin’ humble than I am, and he said he knows our site, and likes what we’re doing over here.  Wow!  I’m honored, and grateful to know that he’s down with us!  I even got a pic with him, which I hate doing (for obvious reasons), hehe.  After Blends called the cops on themselves, they moved the party around the corner to NEIGHBORHOOD bar, where the drinking and the celebrating continued.  A private invite shindig that we were honored to be a part of as well.  A great way to end a rather long day!

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A lot of people had to reluctantly miss out on this release, and that goes for a lot of OTWS members who are really crafty when it comes to the limited releases.  Hail Mary’s were being pulled out of their playbooks, left and right!  Hopefully resellers are nice to them, but I personally feel that most who got these will be holding onto them or wearing them.  There’s just simply not enough of them out there, and with the best design of the year (so far…but let’s be honest, this design is epic.  Black leather, a heel zipper, and a bone for a jazz stripe is nuts!), these will be on a lot of people’s targets for years to come.  It’s gonna have that Vault x Taka Hayashi x Pendleton collab status.  “Don’t believe me, just watch!”, lol.

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