House of Vans draws a crowd at Toronto pop-up
For the second year in a row House of Vans made a temporary home in Toronto. The skate fashion company took over 99 Sudbury this past weekend for an extravaganza that included a drop-in skate park, community market and concert.
Last year’s party took place at a large warehouse on Dupont, and this celebration had a decidedly more compartmentalized vibe, and included the market for the first time.
I dropped by on Saturday to scope out the community market and then the concert at night.
The market focused heavily on local creators, with a lounge area by Stylegarage front and centre upon entry.
The main Vans-related activation came in the form of a carnival-style ring toss where you could try your hand at getting three rings over stands with Vans shoes on them in the hopes of winning a free pair.
Play de Record was out in full force, underscoring the blaring retro music blowing out the market’s speakers with actual retro albums for sale.
They also had sweet tees for music lovers like this one, as well those iconic “J Dilla Changed My Life” shirts.
A stick n’ poke artist was on site, gradually pricking away at the skin of willing human canvases with a needle in what’s become a DIY tattoo trend iconic of the skate community.
A small line of folks waited to screen print their own tees with Vans logos.
Some of Toronto’s premier skate shops like Blue Tile Lounge were out representing the art and style of our skating community.
Local ceramic artist Shakeel Rehemtulla who recently had an exhibition at Unlovable General was selling his functional and beautiful wares.
One of our most popular DIY companies selling current red hot items like enamel pins, patches, and toques ($5 - $45) is No Fun, and they had to be there just to bring the party down a little bit.
Fans have fallen in love with their minimal aesthetic and retro imagery, as seen on this affordable take-no-prisoners tote ($15).
Hayley Elsaesser’s booth had more colour, done up in a bright pink, showcasing their modern items with an eighties palette like this crop top covered in cool beetles ($90).
A selfie station allowed visitors to the market, which was free to the public, to take perfect photos of themselves against a Vans-themed backdrop.
Vendor Stay Home Club had a few offerings for kiddies, and though some leather-jacketed parents wandered around carrying kids in hoodies with animal ears, it was ultimately a somewhat NSFW event, if you consider nudity and sexual references overtly un-kid-friendly.
A gallery space on one side of the market featured an exhibit entitled “potentially flawless” which examined the way in which spam, clickbait, internet tutorials and other forms of “internet pollution” could be seen as new lenses through which to view and create art.
Visitors to the market sipped on cans of Corona or Coors Banquet ($6).
The same beers along with wine and mixed drinks could be purchased at the nighttime attractions beginning at 9 p.m.
A crowd of lucky revellers had RSVP’d to the event beforehand and been selected for attendance by raffle.
Ralph took to the stage as the first act, delivering a signature sweet blend of pop and rock n’ roll with modern vibes.
DJ Bambii brought the prime-time party vibes as a force of female mixing, bringing in such various samples as Missy Elliot and Outkast along with current hits.
Along with electronic, techno and house influences and deep, driving bass, she kept the crowd going.
The House of Vans events in Toronto rage long and hard, but you don’t quit partying when it’s skate or die.
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