Last Saturday, June 29th, Vans released a limited edition line of sneakers to the Vault: a Frida Kahlo collection. The artist’s work appears on three different styles of shoes, including the OG Sk8-HI LX, the OG Authentic LX, and OG Slip-On LX. Two of the pairs of shoes feature self-portraits of the iconic Mexican artist, while another has a motif of watermelons pulled from one of her works. The shoes are not available online; you’ll have to seek them out at brick-and-mortar Vault by Vans retailers around the country.
The Kahlo collection will cost you between $80 and $95 per pair, if you manage to get your hands on them; Vans has put out many limited edition series in the past, featuring work by artists and designers. A collection featuring images from Vincent Van Gogh — an artist whose reputation is perhaps on par with Kahlo’s — sold out immediately, according to Nylon. The collection was designed in collaboration with the Banco de México and the Frida Kahlo Corporation, the same company that collaborated with Mattel last year to put out the Frida Kahlo Barbie doll.
The sneaker company praised the way that the artist’s work was both personal and political, going up against societal norms, and continues to connect with the public through the “creation of a personal, alternative world [that] resonates greatly with many.” This countercultural spirit is perhaps what drew Vans toward the iconic artist’s images — though if you’re cynical about consumer goods, it’s impossible to guess how Kahlo would’ve taken the news that her likeness and work would be featured on a skater shoe.
The Vans were released within a couple of weeks of the announcement that the National Sound Library of Mexico may have a recording of Kahlo’s voice in their archives. The institution has not explained how it plans to verify whether or not the voice belongs to Kahlo, but so far, the people in her circle have denied that the recording is of Kahlo.
According to a piece from the New York Times, the audio recording is a clip from a 1950s radio program called “The Bachelor.” Amparo Garrido, an actress who had done work for the show, has stated that she is pretty sure that she herself was the voice in the recording, not Kahlo. Colleagues and students who worked with Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera have also told the library that the voice did not belong to the artist.