VHS is back in fashion in more ways than you might think. Scrolling through the mind-melting conveyer belt of FaceBook and venturing through the endless wormholes of the weird world web, you’re apt to find folks using VHS and the video era as launching pads for physical fashion ranging in theme from classic graphic T’s (more here) to handbags made from old VHS guts (more here and here) to sunglasses crafted from the skeleton of our favorite format.
But perhaps the most exciting VHS fashion injection comes from the mega-cool brain of Mr. Joe La Scola. A co-founder of Spectrum Video and Home Video Xpress, Joe’s taken analog appreciation to new a height with his creation of super-groovy custom Chuck Taylors, celebrating some of the coolest golden age video labels. Read on, fellow tapeheads, and find out where your next pair of fresh to death custom kicks will be coming from…
If you think this one's bitchin', you should see Joe's Beetlejuice costume.
JS: As if putting out killer VHS tapes and making excellent analog age inspired bumper animations wasn’t enough, you’re the guy responsible for crafting these totally killer custom Chuck Taylors that celebrate video releasing labels. What inspired you to bring these bad boys to life?
JLS: I was actually checking out some shirts that had all the classic labels on them, and I thought “That’d be really cool to put on a pair of shoes.” I wear primarily Chucks, so I thought they’d make for a good canvas with the amount of blank space on the outer side, especially with all the colors they come in. It was really just something I did for myself.
Videovores are REALLY diggin’ these, man. What do you think of the reaction thus far? Does it make you want to expand?
I think it’s great! I had no idea people would be all over these things. I mean, if people want them, I’d be more than happy to make them.
The question is: how much more awesome can these shoes be? And the answer is none. None more awesome.
What’s the process like for creating these?
Basically, I redraw the original artwork, apply it to the shoe, and then paint them. Much like a tattoo.
A look at the super-groovy HOME VIDEO XPRESS customs. Drool. Drool. Drool.
Which companies have you done thus far? Any other customs you’ve done?
I’ve done the new school Vestron, the classic “V” Vestron, and Wizard Video. I’ve also done custom shoes for Home Video Xpress
and Crystal Plumage Films
. I’m actually making a pair for Warlock Video
as a fundraiser giveaway for their new flick.
Do you plan on doing more video companies? Are you taking custom requests?
Absolutely! I have plans for Media and Cannon next. I’ll take any and all custom requests.
How much are these customs going for?
It's anywhere between $95-$190 for the customs. There are so many options, so they are all different prices. However, if you order a shoe I have already done, it will be cheaper. I'm thinking about putting a store up, but I'm not sure… I'm a super reasonable guy. I'm more than willing to make deals.
When are we gonna see some Spectrum Video customs?! Maybe as a part of a super-limited Spectrum VHS release?! PLEASE?!
We have some projects in the works, so a bundle release with kicks is totally possible! I definitely plan on doing a Spectrum pair at some point.
A shot of my personal pair of Vestron Video customs, shipped to me in a box full'a magentic tape! Bury me now 'cause these puppies are gonna make me fresh to death.
What would be your ideal custom shoe? That is, if you haven’t made it already!
The one I really wanted, which I had done already, was Vestron. I’d like to somehow work Godzilla into a shoe equation.
Do you think it’s possible to make some kicks out of old VHS tapes? Like, the magnetic tape, plastic, etc.? I see people are making handbags and lots of other groovy stuff… And how long until someone from Tom’s finds this post and lifts the idea?
I think it’s totally possible. I’d be more than inclined to tackle that. I actually made a bunch of stuff out of old VHS tapes (not anything good!) including picture frames, a clutch, and two mixed media paintings of Michael Keaton as Batman and Jeff Goldblum as Ian Malcolm.
If you're gonna sacrifice a copy of BATMAN on tape, this is the way to do it, dude.
Anything else you want to share with the Videovores out there?
Keep supporting the independent scene! We are a big bloody family. Let’s keep making cool stuff for each other to enjoy.
Right on, Joe, right on! Does this dude rule or what? YOU’RE DAMN SKIPPY. You can contact Joe about any custom orders you may have bouncing around your video obsessed brain by emailing him through JoeSpectrumVid.com or hitting him up on Facebook HERE. Oh, and don’t forget to check out Spectrum Video and Home Video Xpress for more analog awesomeness.
Interview by Josh Schafer