Slam Jam and Vans Vault team up once again and announce a new collaborative artist series.
Aiming to act as a platform to enable and celebrate diverse forms of creative expression, the kick-off episode sees Polish American artist Julian Klincewicz deliver an eight-piece collection driven and inspired by a return to childhood.
The collection sports the artist’s take on three iconic shoes; the Era, the Slip-on and the Bold, a washed black jacket/pant look and a set of three t-shirts in different colorways.
“With this collection, I was thinking a lot about myself as a 7-year-old boy obsessed with toy cars. I loved trying to play off that energy: constant motion, speed, imagination, endless creativity, exuberance even...It took me a while to get there. I think I probably spent 6 to 8 months working on the shoes, before landing on what they turned out to be." - Julian
Notes to Editor from Julian Klincewicz
In going back creatively to this idea of childhood, or really childhood as a representation of beginning, I was also thinking about one of my first exhibitions. I made up a number system* where each number had a kind of abstract word to describe its energy. These numbers could now become shorthand for a feeling, an emotion, a whole mood, much like how in childhood we invent our own games, words, our secret codes. It’s a way to revisit childhood motions, but with the tools of an adult.
It’s this spirit of play, of invented games and ensouled meanings, that are at the center of the collection. To me the radical act of an artist is a decision to see(k) beauty in all things - to validate one’s own intuitions and inquire into the realm of important areas of exploration - the act itself, and not the outcome.
I was thinking a lot about the idea of being seen, of self love. There’s something I really admire in streetwear, about the best parts of fashion really, which is the confidence of wanting to be seen - to be recognized & communicate. That your clothes might communicate with someone like a lighthouse signaling - I’m part of your group, perhaps we could be friends. This is of course an aspirational take on it but I think at the heart that’s what it’s all about - to truly be seen, which at the end of the day is what we all crave.
I pulled images from my archive — one of a race car, one of a tire, and one of a young boy. To me, each of these images convey a sense of that childhood whimsicality, but also a particular moment of artistic exploration for myself, true spontaneous creation.
The clothing is meant to play off of these — a canvas utility pant & jacket that could be worn on any adventure (a day skating, a day sculpting, a day hiking up a mountain with friends, a day doing chores), things that become worn-in and personalized over time. The shirts - one with the number system, meant to be colored in and personalized, the other with the image of the race car.
I was hoping to make things that felt simultaneously childlike and adult, something that transcends age.
*(1 is courage, 2 is friendship, 3 was mystery, 4 was love, 5 change, 6 emotion, 7 sex, 8 power, 9 magic.)
The range is available now exclusively across Slam Jam doors (.com, Milan, Ferrara).