The Story Behind T.A.'s Slip-On Collaboration With Vault By Vans

Telsha Anderson-Boone has designed her first ever physical product. Here, she describes how the partnership came about and the future of the T.A. retail concept.

Telsha Anderson-Boone, the founder and owner of T.A., a contemporary retail concept, is moving into product. 

Anderson-Boone, who opened T.A.’s now-closed Meatpacking District shop in July 2020, has partnered with Vault by Vans on a slip-on sneaker called “Pleated Petals.” The unisex sneaker, which was inspired by her mother’s love of flowers, is made from pleated canvas that comes in a heather rose and red ochre color palette.

The mood board process was extensive before we even started designing,” says Anderson-Boone. “The design journey for the sneaker was all about creating something that reflects the essence of T.A. and brings a fresh twist to the classic Vans style.”

While Anderson-Boone no longer operates a physical store, she’s built a community and brand that can translate to various mediums. To celebrate the launch, she has opened a pop-up at  The Shop at The Standard High Line that features items from Black-owned brands including Ashya, David x Goliath, Redoux, and Only Made. The shop will be open through Nov. 11.

Here, Anderson-Boone details the inspiration behind her Vans collaboration, the short film that accompanied the launch, and what’s next for T.A.

Seems like this is the first sneaker you've worked on, correct? Why did you think Vans was the right fit?
Absolutely, this is my very first-ever brand collaboration and the first time I’ve fully dove into the world of design—it's been an exhilarating journey! I’ve always been a fan of Vans Anyone who knows me knows my classic slip-on VLT LXs have been my go-to since I was a kid. The Vault by Vans team noticed my love for that silhouette and reached out, and it just felt like the perfect fit. I've always admired Vans for their timeless style and cultural impact, and I saw a fantastic opportunity to blend my love for fashion, design, and creative expression through the lens of T.A. with their iconic designs.

The sneaker features pleated details. Can you talk about the design and the inspiration? And the color choice? Were you aiming to offer something that's not currently on the market?
Our core inspiration for the collaboration was really born from T.A.’s dynamic community. From leading fashion creatives, to local style icons, our community’s style perspective always influences the brand and our work. I’m also always drawn to color, texture, and taking a whimsical approach to personal style, and wanted to meld that with a luxury element found in the fabrication of the shoe to make a really beautiful offering. 

The mood board process was extensive before we even started designing. The design journey for the sneaker was all about creating something that reflects the essence of T.A. and brings a fresh twist to the classic VANS style. The pleated canvas details were inspired by the dynamic and ever-evolving nature of fashion, a nod to the constant exploration and discovery in the world of style. As for the color choice, everyone knows I’m all about color theory, color blocking—just bringing color anywhere I go really. We aimed for a beautiful combination of heather rose and red ochre, something that stands out but also is complementary to several other colors so people can feel open to mix and match as they feel. Our goal was to bring something to the market that not only stands out but also resonates with those who appreciate the beauty in sartorial exploration. It's all about celebrating individuality and embracing a unique, yet timeless, aesthetic.

The box design is also quite nice, can you talk about that?
I’ve always felt like packaging is a part of the entire experience; it’s just as important as the product and tells a story of what’s to come, and we always prioritize giving customers high-quality packaging with T.A.’s signature design ethos and wanted this to be no exception. The box design mimics the colorway of the shoe, and is also reflected in the bottom of the shoe. It’s a fluid collage—almost like a paper mache effect—and encapsulates the creativity and attention to detail that went into this project.  

Can you talk about the inspiration behind the short film? What does it signify and what did you want to portray?
I just had my first baby a few months ago and felt super inspired to create. My husband and business partner Justin [Boone] and I worked together on this short film titled, “IT’S NOT TOO LATE.”  It’s all about inspiring people to go after what they want, even if it takes time and even under pressure. It’s never too late to chase what’s calling you, and my experience with motherhood, while also evolving our business, has taught me that ten-fold. 

Do you foresee any other collabs with Vans? Or a private label?
Vans has been beyond amazing to work with, and I hope that this is just the beginning of our relationship and that we can continue working together to reimagine other classic silhouettes. As far as private label goes, we’re always looking to expand T.A. and find other ways to connect with other brands and our customers. The possibilities are endless and nothing is off the table. 

Can you talk about the future of the T.A. store? 
The current priority of T.A. is all about meeting our incredible customers right where they are—online. We're not just a store; we're a community, and now we're reaching even more fashion enthusiasts around the globe. Our focus remains on expanding our product offerings with our amazing current partners, ensuring that the T.A. experience continues to be where people know they’ll discover something fresh and show-stopping. I’m always on the lookout for the newest voices in design, constantly discovering and bringing the emerging and most exciting talents into our world. We recently did a physical pop-up at Fred Segal in LA  before our current pop-up at The Shop at The Standard High Line to celebrate our Vault by Vans collaboration, and are continuing to explore special moments where we can touch and connect with our consumers IRL.


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