Just for Kicks

Artist Niagara gets in funky step with Vans for a stylish new line


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Has Detroit punk artist and stiletto-wearer Niagara been caught flat-footed?

Well, she is working with the laid-back shoe manufacturer Vans. What gives?

The alliance of Niagara and Vans came about in Tokyo, or so the story goes. Two designers for the California company that made its name producing canvas shoes for surfers and skateboarders walked by a two-story image of a painting created by the Detroit rocker and post-pulp artist and asked, “Why not Niagara?” The pair then conspired to invite the former lead singer for Destroy All Monsters to design something for the exclusive Vans Vault 2008 line. The results are colorful, brazen, and fun.

It’s not easy to snag a pair of the hot high-tops or slip-ons, which are selling briskly at about $75 in just a handful of skate shops and art galleries worldwide. Vans emblazoned each design with her signature image of puckered lips and a smoking cigarette.

Niagara is strictly a 4-inch-heel gal, so the creative exercise has been an interesting departure for the self-styled vixen of pop, who’s currently touring England and France with her new footwear. If only it were possible to pick up a little dress or T from her Hysteric Glamour fashion line (exclusive to Japan) to wear with the new Vans.

Retail information: vault.vans.com.

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