Off The Hook x Chuck Hughes x Vans Sk8-Hi “Black Crab” | Louis-Martin Tremblay

Louis-Martin Tremblay recently hit me up with details of his latest project for Vans, Off The Hook & Chuck Hughes for their SK8-Hi Black Crab collaboration –

When Off the Hook approach me do to a Collaboration combo for them it was a ” carte blanche “. The only things that were underlined were the fact that it needed to speak to Chuck and represent his lifestyle and also show the Off the Hook way of doing things. 

    After a month of sketching and research I approached the team with 2 directions I thought would marry it all nicely. Everybody was hyped by the sketches and they went on to present the concepts to Chuck Hughes. A week later I got a call from the OTH boutique to meet and discuss Chucks comments. That meeting was a turning point as Chuck was trilled by the designed but had forgot to mention he only wears black vans… You can imagine such a small detail plays a lot when it comes to design. 
    I put on my ” ninja face ” as Angelo ( owner , partner of OTH boutique ) likes to say and I answered ” no prob i’ll go back to the drawing table “. The boys at the shop felt the project was dead while I was on the way home wondering how I would pull a 360 and find a new direction. 
   One week later I am staring at Chuck’s logo which is a Black Crab with X’s instead of eyes…and PAF the name popped up…BLACK CRAB! My mind started racing about the animal. I remember being in bed and pulling out my phone to google the name to find out about this crab that was a delicacy in the cooking world…I could not of ask for better answer. 
    From there the project became such a great quest, how could we replicate the shell aspect on a shoe. That is where the moulded look came from and then we needed to make it water resistant like the creature itself which initiated the gusseted tongue and the sealed zip in the back. The guys at the shop were on board with the concept and were stoked by the name. The only person that needed to feel it was Chuck which was blown away by the concept and felt it was the perfect look and feature for when he gets cooking. 
   Last but not least I always feel that the box plays a big part in the experience of buying any product. With such a pure and monochrome product we felt we needed to make it contrast the shoes. This is why we went with this bright orange color that represents the diving flag.


Check out some of the inspiration, sketches & renderings behind Louis’ project, below.




Vans authentic black copy








Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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