Vans Welcomes Lupe Fiasco & Chris Kong to the OTW Family
In Fall 2010, Vans handpicked five unique individuals to launch OTW as our Advocates – street art legend Mister Cartoon, designer Eric Elms, Parisian photographer/filmmaker Dimitri Coste and The Blackouts, the twin DJ duo consisting of skate pioneers Ako and Atiba Jefferson. The Vans OTW Collection embodies the independent creative lifestyle and the Vans OTW Advocates epitomize this way of life. Spring 2012 marks the next generation of OTW as Grammy-award winning recording artist Lupe Fiasco and Garage Works Industries founder/vinyl toy manufacturer Chris Kong join Elms and Coste as our new Advocates.
Lupe Fiasco grew up with an eclectic taste in music, appreciating the sounds of instrumental greats such as Benny Goodman as well as the rhymes of hip hop legends such as Nas. He began his musical pursuits in Chicago, Illinois, recording songs in the family basement and starting his rap career as a member of Da Pak. The group disbanded shortly after its inception but Fiasco forged on as a solo artist. His debut album, Food & Liquor, and follow-up, The Cool, won over critics and fans. Lupe’s third album, Lasers, was released in March 2011 and debuted as the number one album on the US Billboard 200. His status as an international superstar has been cemented with lead singles “Daydreamin’”, “Superstar”, “The Show Goes On” and “Out of My Head”.
Soundclash with Sky Gellatly. Aside from the role of performer, Fiasco has started to build an empire as a mogul, co-founding the 1st and 15th Entertainment record label under Atlantic and launching his fashion brand Righteous Kung-Fu.
Regardless of his fame, Lupe Fiasco works for the people. He has been involved with charitable activities throughout his career, taking part in Summit on the Summit expedition to raise awareness for the billions of people worldwide who lack sanitary drinking water and releasing a benefit single for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He also empowers his listeners with thought-provoking verses, challenging the establishment with his lyrical commentary on social issues.
Chris Kong is the founder and owner of Garage Works Industries. The production house is a leader in the vinyl toy industry, designing products for national brands including Vans, Disney and Bandai. His sub-label, Made by Monsters, is popular amongst figurine collectors, crafting custom sculptures for artists such as Ron English, Jim Philips and Johnny Ace. Although based in Hong Kong, Chris pulls inspiration from all over the world. His lifelong fascination with art and other cultures serves as the foundation of his creativity.
We proudly welcome Fiasco and Kong to the Vans family and look forward to showcasing their diverse talents in the coming months.