Squid Game Sparks White Vans Explosion

Squid Game, a newly released Netflix Korean thriller that’s currently on track to become Netflix’s most-watched show ever pictures participant players wearing teal striped tracksuits accompanied by a pair of white slip-on sneakers. Since the launch of the show, shoppers have been running out to buy Vans’ white slip-on shoes.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is Squid Game?
  1. Squid Game Leaks Into The Real World
  1. Background on Vans
    1. The Iconic Styles
      1. Vans Sk8-Hi “Black/White”
      2. Vans Classic Slip-On “Checkerboard”
      3. Vans Old Skool “Black/White”
      4. Vans Canvas Authentics
      5. Vans Classic Slip-On Shoes (True White)
    2. The Price
  2. The Effect of TV Shows on Fashion
  3. Other Shows That Have Impacted Fashion
    1. Bridgerton’s Fashion Sweep
    2. Stranger Things in Fashion
  1. Conclusion

What is Squid Game?

The oddly named Korean series is the the No. 1 show on Netflix in more than 90 countries, including the U.S. at the moment. Squid Game is a nine-episode series about a world where children’s games turn deadly. Being the first Korean drama to hit the No. 1 spot on Netflix, Squid Game reached this milestone just four days after its release on September 17th. Although the show has been described as disturbing, bloody and violent, it has also been described as addictive and highly binge worthy. 

The show focuses on a desperately obligated group of people in South Korea that have been tricked into playing a deadly tournament of children’s games. After being put to sleep in a van, the 456 contestants find themselves in a nondescript auditorium the next morning, all wearing the same sweatsuit and white slip-on sneakers. When many of the players volunteer to come back, they realize that the games may be their only chance to win the money they need to survive. With big bucks at stake (45 billion South Korean won, which translates to $38 million US) there is a lot on the line.

You can watch the trailer here: 

Squid Game | Official Trailer | Netflix

2. Squid Game Leaks Into the Real World

People want to mimic some of the events in Squid Game but more importantly the fashion. Vans were the most viewed slip-on sneakers on the internet over the past month. According to data compiled, it seems that searches for Vans Slip-On sneakers have increased by 7,800% following the release of the show. White slip-on shoes, in general, have seen a 97% uptick in search volume, according to Lyst. This spike speaks to the popularity of the show. Netflix announced on Tuesday, October 11th that 111 million people had already sat down to watch the series themselves. Star, HoYeon Jung reported that she has gained millions of followers in a matter of weeks following the global success of Squid Game. Back in September the star had 400,000 followers, and as of November she has 23.3 million. Since the release, she has also been named the new global ambassador for Louis Vuitton.

3. Background on Vans

The company was established by two brothers Paul Van Doren and James Van Doren in 1966 as The Van Doren Rubber Co. The company got its name from the middle names of the Doren brothers. A year later, they launched their first shoe store which sold 12 vans deck shoes which are now called Authentic.

For some time, the company used to pay $300 to professional skateboarders like Stacy Peralta to wear Vans shoes during contests and tournaments until they received an order from Universal. In which they asked for a few of the popular checkerboard slip-on Vans shoes for their upcoming movie, Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

The movie was a hit and it helped Vans sell millions of shoes. Later in the 80s, the company decided to manufacture shoes for other sports as well like basketball, surfing and running.

Now, Vans not only manufactures shoes but has also expanded into clothing and accessories like t-shirts, sweatshirts, jeans, bags, sunglasses and more. The products are available for men, women and kids. I am a big fan of vans sneakers. I always turn to my vans to accompany any of my casual outfits and often find myself wearing them to class each day. I have also taken advantage of Van’s custom orders and have created two very different pairs of vans in which I have gifted to loved ones.

The Price

Currently the Vans Slip-On (True White) are retailing for approximately $50.00 USD on Vans.com, this price varies slightly by site and by size. A direct link to the Vans website can be found here:

Vans Classic Slip-On

4. The Effect of TV Shows on Fashion

Whether it is Squid Game or not, we all have our favorite TV shows. Have you ever thought about how exactly these shows influence us? Some choose to follow their favorite actors and actresses from a certain series while others just keep up with the show in itself whether that be gossip or  when the next season will be released. As we know fashion is an expressive art form, so what is it that resonates with people when they try to dress like their favorite characters or style themselves like those in a show? Shows that are able to spark a fashion inspiration are known to build even better relationships with the fans of the shows.

There has been a direct connection between the fashion styles in the shows and an uptick in sales of similar clothing. In this case Squid Games and Vans. With multiple popular TV shows on the rise recently (partially due to the pandemic and the consumer need for entertainment), many consumers of the shows get inspired by their favorite characters and seek out similar clothing. The jumpsuit, white van look is simple yet effective. 

Squid Game is also serving as a source of merchandise. The streaming giant (Netflix) announced that they will be teaming up with Walmart Inc. to create a digital storefront on the Netflix website that will be offering merchandise that is tied into “Squid Game”, as well as other hit shows.

Squid Game Storefront

5. Other Shows That Have Impacted Fashion

Bridgerton’s Fashion Sweep

“Bridgerton” has captured the attention of individuals from a range of age groups, whether that be young teens to middle-aged moms. The show, set in the early 1800s, features fashion from this era, specifically elegant gowns and corsets. When the show completely took the media by storm, the fashion industry saw a direct correlation to some of its sales. 

Sales in corsets saw an increase, among other fashion products inspired by the clothes seen on screen. Etsy saw a 91% spike in sales of corsets in the months following Bridgerton’s release on December 25th, 2020. The style palettes include muted colors to lace gloves to dainty floral prints. Like the effects of Squid Game’s fashion on sales, Bridgerton’s effect can be seen in many aspects of current fashion trends.

Stranger Things in Fashion

Bridgerton isn’t the only show to have this type of influence on style. The very popular “Stranger Things,” a Netflix original that is set in the ’80s, had also caused a large shift in. The show inspired many people to go back to ’80s fashion trends, from light wash denim jeans cuffed up at the bottom to bold patterns.  Many brands took advantage of this trend including H&M who released a “Stranger Things” summer wear line. Nike also put out a line of “Hawkins High School” retro-themed sneakers. Most notably, Louis Vuitton even introduced  a “Stranger Things” print on the runway.

Even though it may not be a conscious decision, the media we consume can have a great influence over many parts of our lives, including our fashion sense and style. Whether that be buying clothes that reflect your favorite characters’ on-screen outfits to picking up the same hobbies or characteristics of those from the show you are watching. I remember back in high school binge watching the show “Gossip Girl” when it was added to Netflix and by the end of the series I was at Forever 21 buying fancy headbands to wear along with my uniform as I tried to portray a look that you would see on the infamous Blair Waldorf.

6. Conclusion

In conclusion, if you are noticing similarities between the everyday fashion that is surrounding you and what you’ve been watching on Netflix — don’t worry. You are indeed not going crazy by seeing your favorite TV show everywhere. TV has long been an influencer of fashion not to mention the influences that social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok continue to have on the public, there will always be a majority of us who secretly live out our TV fantasies by carefully matching out styles to our favorite shows and celebrities through our specific wardrobe choices.

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