To celebrate the Swedish labels expansive collaboration with Vans Vault, iconic Hardcore band Youth Of Today played a rare and intimate show in London's Soho. We caught up with Our Legacy co-founder Jockum Hallin to discuss his Hardcore history and the influences behind the collaboration.
How did the collaboration with Vans come about?
I've always been wearing Vans, so there's a personal affection going way back. However, we never do collaborations so when Vans asked us to do a couple of shoes and a bag for them we said no. I slept badly for a couple of nights, thinking about what we could have done! So, we came back to the table, instead pitching to do the best streetwear possible for them, all made in the USA. We wanted to do a footwear collection using Our Legacy materials; swedish natural tanned leather, hairy suede and army MA-1 nylon, but in the exact shapes of our favourite Vans in the early 90s. We wanted to do something that felt like a stand alone collection, or a sub line even, like 'Gyakusou' for Nike for example. Vans were great as they gave us more or less free reign. Happy days!
Can you tell us a little bit about the influence behind the collection?
I grew up in Sweden in the 90s, skateboarding, playing in Hardcore bands and dreaming about what was going on in New York and Los Angeles. The clothes and shoes I saw in American skateboard magazines were not possible to get in my little hometown, and the records they featured in the fanzines I read I could only imagine, and hardly ever get my hands on! The collection is that unreachable dream turned into reality. The specific theme is a homage to all our favourite 80s - 90s West Coast bands like 'Uniform Choice', 'Chain Of Strength' and 'Inside Out' coming out of Orange County. Vans also operates out of the same county and have done since they were founded in 1966.
Why did you specifically go for the Authentic, Old Skool, Half Cab and Sk8-Mid?
The Authentic and the Old Skool were what I wore during my Hardcore days. The Half Cab is a beautiful silhouette but a bit bulky for civilians, so we put it on a diet! Lastly, the Sk8-Mid has that perfect 'chukka' height for an early 90s John Cardiel look.
How important is it that the clothing was all manufactured in LA?
Apparel made in the USA is made pretty much in the same way now as it was twenty or thirty years ago. When I was thirteen and bought a t-shirt or a pair of jeans made in the USA, I didn't necessarily consider where product was manufactured. But what I did acknowledge, was how thick the t-shirt felt and how it managed to maintain its quality and not wear out, regardless of how often it was washed. That is the exact same feeling we tried to accomplish with the collaboration.
How did you access Hardcore music whilst growing up in Sweden?
Sharing records with friends, going to concerts all over Sweden to see touring bands and every once in a while place a mail order from the States from places like Revelation or Equal Vision.
The California Hardcore aesthetic is not overt in Our Legacy's seasonal collections. Did you see this as a chance for you guys to really do something different?
We wanted to develop and curate the best Vans product possible to create this 'dream' collection. It would not have made sense to do Our Legacy garments for Vans.
What were the reasons behind bringing Youth Of Today into the mix?
Youth Of Today are the ultimate positive Hardcore band. The band, the lyrics and the culture they gave birth to shaped me a lot as a teen, and is still with me today. I was fortunate enough to spend three or four weeks in a tour van in my late teens with Ray and Porcell; they brought me on a US tour with their then band 'Shelter'. As a Swedish kid, getting to see the whole United States with these guys and listening to their stories...not bad! Porcell later released a record with my band 'The Change' on his label. These guys are icons, but very humble with great hearts and minds.
What would be your favourite Youth Of Today record?
We're Not In This Alone.
Do you still play music?
Only to my kids these days; riffed up versions of lullabies that they dance to!
Shop the Our Legacy x Vans Vault collection below.
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