Vans x Opening Ceremony | Redesigning the Checkerboard


For years, Vans and Opening Ceremony have forged a partnership rooted in celebrating creative expression and collaboration. This season, the two brands reunite to debut the first global collection of footwear, apparel, and accessories—with OC reinventing Vans’ iconic checkerboard print with abstract snake and leopard patterns throughout the collection. 

Founded on the principles of exploration and friendship, Opening Ceremony has celebrated the unique and diverse perspectives of people and countries around the world since the day it was founded in 2002. Founders Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have always amplified underrepresented voices, and have made an impact on culture far beyond the fashion world. They have been at the forefront of fashion for decades and have always pushed boundaries together with Vans.



Vans has been a long-time creative partner of ours, and we're so excited to collaborate on their iconic print this season,” says Opening Ceremony Creative Director Humberto Leon. “For this new capsule collection, Carol and I are inspired to reinvent the checkerboard, taking a new graphic approach to Vans' classic pattern.


Inspired by Vans’ iconic checkerboard print, Opening Ceremony founders reinvent the pattern with abstract snake and leopard patterns across apparel and footwear. Using Vans’ original deck shoe, the Authentic as their canvas, Opening Ceremony have created an all-over repeat pattern that highlights the positive and negative space – finding harmony between the motifs of the snake and leopard across the uppers and sole of each shoe. 



The repeat leopard pattern is featured on an assortment of apparel, including a track suit-inspired jacket that includes a front zipper closure, toggle fasteners and a hidden hood. The Vans x OC leopard pant boasts a relaxed fit with welt pockets and a zipper flap. The leopard assortment is complemented by a leopard printed tote that is filled with soft padding, emblazoned with a novelty rubber Vans x OC patch. 




A second delivery of footwear takes an elevated approach using monochromatic uppers in orchid and baja blue. The Authentic QLT brings two of-the-moment colorways to Vans’ maiden silhouette, with an all-over color, quilted vamp and lateral stitching. Each shoe is finished with an Opening Ceremony woven patch on the heel.  




Growing up in Southern California, both Humberto and Carol were Vans fans at an early age. Carol grew up in the San Fernando Valley and wore red Eras with her school uniform so she could stand out. It was the one way she was allowed to express her sense of style. Humberto grew up in the San Gabriel Valley and Highland Park—everyone wore Vans even if they weren’t skaters. Vans were accessible and democratic, and the brand felt inclusive even with their roots in skateboarding. Both Humberto and Carol related to the music and art within skate culture, and that still influences them today.


The full collection is now live and available online and in-store at OTH Downtown.