Vans Links With Tattoo Legend BJ Betts For “Made For The Makers” Collection

Vans x BJ Betts

Vans and tattoo legend BJ Betts have joined forces for the first-time for the delivery of a new range of “Made for the Makers” sneakers.

The artist offers his take on three classic Vans silhouttes, resulting in functional, military-inspired styles.

Over more than two decades, Betts has been a staple in the ever-changing world of tattoo. He blends traditional tattoo elements with gothic imagery and Japanese folklore, but he’s most known for his unique lettering. For his collaboration with Vans, he taps into ornate designs to update a trio of classics — including the Old Skool, Authentic and Slip-On. Each sneaker features original camouflage patterns in muted military-inspired colors. They also feature mixed suede and canvas uppers in liquid and dirt repellant Vansguard coating, paired with camouflage UltraCush sockliners. Finally, each is given Vans’ “Made for the Makers” benefits, such as slip-resistant, vulcanized lugged outsoles, maximizing comfort without sacrificing personal style.

Betts finishes off his shoe with pull tabs at the heel, with digits representing his birth year (’71), alongside the original Vans style numbers.

“I wanted to make something functional. Being an artist and working long hours, more times than not I end up going out and having dinner later in the evening and going to meet up with my family and friends directly from work,” said Betts. “I wanted to have a collection that could be worn easily and comfortably while working, with the stain resistant qualities that allow me to head out for a nice dinner looking presentable with a simple wipe down of my shoes. The shoes are generally the first thing that is noticed, am I wrong?”

“The camo pattern and its colors are inspired by my military service, and my Grandfather’s service as well, who was one of the best men that ever walked this earth, and who this whole project is dedicated to,” he continued.

The Vans x BJ Betts collection is available now at, select Vans stores and Philadelphia retailer Lapstone and Hammer.