Peach—Fuzz Interview Vintage Vans Afficionado, Henry Davies


Pillowheat – a digital goldmine of vintage US-made Vans – is one of my favourite accounts on instagram, and Peach—Fuzz, the London-based agency-cum-blug, recently sat down with the account holder and owner of its namesake shop. The Other Side Of The Pillow acts as both a retail space and an archive for some of the best loved and most rare Vans ever fashioned, as classic white canvas Authentics share space with dead stock styles reminiscent of a modern Jack Purcell. And while their instagram is a constant source of intrigue, carefully documenting each of these styles and placing them within the context of the US footwear maker’s history, it’s nice to hear about the story behind the retail concept and the Henry Davies’ passion for the Californian brand.

Here’s an excerpt:

What about the graphic sole units? Because it’s one thing to customise the uppers but what’s the history behind the custom soles?

It’s an interesting story. When Van Doren was in high school he noticed kids writing in checkerboard on the rubber and he went back and told his dad. So they started printing the scene, or the graphics, on the foxing. So that actually came before the canvas – before they were working on the canvas, they were printing on the rubber. The natural progression was to start doing it on the canvas too. There was no turning back from there, and that’s when all the crazy prints came out. But the scene (which is what they referred to it as) is iconic, and has become this collectable thing. They don’t do it so much now because the rubber is different, and it doesn’t really recreate in the same way. But again, they were ahead of their time doing that. It’s something that has never really been beat. There would be a poster on the wall and you could go in and pick your graphic, and pick your colourways, and the possibilities were endless with what you could choose.

That’s another thing with collecting, too, you never really know what’s out there. It’s not like with another brand where there was a catalogue from 1985 where you could pick your shoes. It was up to the imagination of an individual, and you never know what’s going to surface… it’s just the product of some kind’s imagination in 1973, or whatever!

Read the full thing here.

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