Jimmy Gorecki, the pro skater and sweatpants mogul, is teaming up with Vans to honor the legendary Philadelphia skate spot, LOVE Park, on a very personal collaboration: the JSP x Vans Vault Chukka 79 LX "A LOVE Story". Jimmy dreamed up this project as a way to pay tribute to the corner of 15th and JFK, home to two of Philadelphia's seminal skate spots, LOVE park and the Municipal Building that stands across the street from it. This Center City skating hotbed was a breeding ground for Philly skate legends like Josh Kalis, Stevie Williams and Gorecki himself( who hails from nearby Norristown), even though it was illegal to skate there.
Embarking on this project with Vans, the godfathers of skate sneakers, was a natural fit, but the silhouette Jimmy chose to feature was not as obvious. The Chukka 79 may be one of the more obscure Vans' silhouettes, but it made a strong impression on Gorecki when he would see it on the feet of his favorite skaters in Thrasher Magazine growing up. Plus, he always liked the way it looks with sweatpants, which are the basis of his brand.
The JSP x Vans Vault Chukka 79 LX "A LOVE Story" features two shoes, in either black or white, and is not only stylish but totally built for skating as the first ever Vault shoe to be sold at skate shops. They're constructed with smooth but durable suede uppers on top of a white cupsole adorned with red checkerboard on the sidewalls. Overlaid on the checkerboard are graffiti-style tags from local artist and skater, Joe Lees, that read 'Love', "Philly', '215' and 'JSP'. UltraCush insoles make for a high quality and padded interior while an icy blue rubber toe guard and waffle outsole finish off the design. The shoes comes packaged in a shoebox dedicated to Gorecki’s close childhood friend, seminal Philly skater and former Vans skate team member, JR Neves who passed away in 2009 for a poignant final touch.
We'll close with Jimmy's own interpretation of what this project means:
"For decades, the industrial landscape at Philadelphia’s 15th and JFK Blvd has provided an unexpected organic outlet for so many young folks raised on Philly’s unforgiving blocks. It’s been a needed distraction from the realities of the neighborhood.
The young energy generated there is absolutely necessary. But like most municipalities, it’s never been embraced by the local law makers, forcing the youth to break the already broken “rules” just to have a productive place of their own.
That’s what this love story is about, perseverance, regardless of the circumstances. To get one’s energy and ideas out where they can be seen and succeed... even if only for one brief moment."
The JSP x Vans Vault Chukka 79 LX "A LOVE Story" will be available exclusively at Lapstone & Hammer on Wednesday, February 10th at 10:00am both in-store and online @ lapstoneandhammer.com.